League Express Championship correspondent GARETH WALKER pays tribute to Halifax’s surge of form that has seen the club make a strong challenge recently for the Middle 8s.
HALIFAX are making an increasingly strong case to be the form team in the Championship heading into the crucial final weeks of the season.
Fax’s accomplished win over London Broncos last weekend was their fifth in a row – and all away from the Shay while work has been carried out on the pitch there.
After impressing in defeat against the Bulls at the Summer Bash, Fax have won away at Workington, Featherstone, Hunslet and Dewsbury, before beating the Broncos at the neutral Cougar Park.
It’s important to stress that Fax’s strength at present appears to lie in their collective effort. But among that, the experienced Scott Murrell has led his side from the front, with props Mitch Cahalane and Adam Tangata setting a platform up front, Dane Manning producing big minutes in the back row and Ben Johnston growing into his role at scrum half.
As a result Richard Marshall’s side are firmly in the all-important top four mix heading into the final four rounds of the season, and it is their form on the road that has put them into this position.
“We’re playing some attractive stuff but we’re doing the tough stuff as well,” Marshall said
“The players are doing all the small things in the game that you often don’t get recognised for.
“We’ve spoken to them about it being what you do off the ball as well as with the ball at Halifax.
“Are you having a rest or are you helping a teammate out?
“Most of them are helping each other at the moment.
“That’s a big part of our game plan at the moment and it will be in our thoughts going forward.
“We’re not always getting it right – we need to be more disciplined and have a bit better ball control.
“But on the whole we’re a confident unit at the moment and that’s showing through.
“It’s still all to play for though and there’s a number of teams jostling with each other around the top four.
“Fortunately enough we’re one of them, but I still think there’s a long way to go with a lot of twists and turns.”
Also worthy of mention this week is another club featured in this column of late, for different reasons.
Mike Grady’s South Wales Scorpions hadn’t won a match when they were featured, but on Sunday they finally ended their near year-long wait for a victory by beating London Skolars.
As mentioned before there are plenty of positives to look at in the Valleys despite the scorelines, and don’t rule out a few more wins before the end of the campaign.