Marshall admits Halifax under pressure for Toulouse trip as they exit Challenge Cup

Halifax coach Richard Marshall admits both their short turnaround and the fact this weekend’s opponents Toulouse have had a week off puts them under pressure for Saturday’s trip to France, as they exited the Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.

Marshall left several big names out of his side for the cup tie against League 1 side Oldham, and Fax were ultimately beaten 27-6 as they missed out on a fifth-round home date with Super League side Hull KR.

But with such a huge clash on the horizon against in-form Toulouse, Marshall admits he expects an instant response from his side – even if the cards will be dealt against them following both sides’ respective fixture schedules.

“If you speak to me on Saturday night and see if I’ve made the right decision in terms of the team, we’ll see,” he said.

“But it puts us under pressure with Toulouse having not played and having a weekend off, while we’ve played Tuesday night. But I expect us to be a lot better than that on Saturday night.”

Marshall insisted his side had nowhere to hide following a poor performance against the Roughyeds – and admitted he too must take some of the responsibility following the result.

He said: “It wasn’t good enough, was it. I can handle getting beat, and getting beat by a better team – which Oldham were. It pains me to say it that at home, our attitude wasn’t quite right, and that’s my responsibility.

“We put some younger players in and I’m really proud that we’ve got a decent reserve grade and we’re looking at our own players, but they’ve got to look at their performances, and hopefully that does them the world of good, because that wasn’t good enough.

“The team that we put out there was good enough to win that game. There were a couple of scruffy tries but we can’t take anything away from Oldham – they were fantastic. But it’s my responsibility and I’ll cop that.”