Richard Marshall offers honest assessment of Halifax attack ahead of Rochdale trip

Richard Marshall is hoping his Halifax side can learn a lesson from last week’s defeat to Toronto and play with more intelligence ahead of Sunday’s clash with Rochdale.

Halifax put in a spirited performance against the Wolfpack but suffered a second defeat in three games as they went down 22-6.

Marshall questioned his side’s ‘game smarts’ after the game, with their attack still proving to be an issue as the season continues.

Much has been made of Halifax’s attack over the last 12 months. They ended the regular Championship season with the strongest defence in 2017 but weren’t as prolific with the ball.

But Marshall is confident his side can overcome that ahead of their trip to Spotland.

“The unforced errors are hurting us now,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’ve played 300 games or three games, an unforced error is an unforced error.”

Marshall cited the period in which Toronto were down to 12 men to explain his point.

“When a team goes down to 12 there’s one less player and more space. We had to work a different plan there but you can’t do that if you keep turning the ball over.

“If you look at what Ryan Brierley did, he rolled the ball over, he slowed the game over and the ten minutes went like that. His game management compared to ours was far superior. He kept building pressure and created a try. They didn’t get bored and frustrated with what they were doing. We’re hoping to learn a lesson from him and Toronto this week.”

Marshall accepts there is no quick fix but believes there is a solution.

“It’s coming up with sets and plays where everyone is under no illusion as to what is expected of them. Then you re-assess, make it an open forum and find out what works for us and our strengths. We have to play to our strengths and we’ve trained that way. We didn’t have great numbers at the start because we had lots of operations. But Rochdale have only just got going but I don’t think we’ve found our form just yet.”