Halifax’s Adam Robinson has admitted he has had to up his workrate in training to stay with the pace being set by in-form front row trio Luke Ambler, Andy Bracek and Tony Tonks.
Having got the better of Sheffield’s Championship winning pack in round one, Fax dominated newly-promoted Workington on their way to a 20-8 success last weekend to move up to second on the league ladder.
And Robinson, whose destructive second spell at Derwent Park was tagged as “sensational” by boss Karl Harrison, put that form down to the pressure of trying to keep up with his teammates.
“We are all playing off each other at the moment,” said Robinson, who will again be a key figure when Fax host Keighley on Sunday.
“Bracek’s got a lot of minutes in him and just keeps going and going, Ambler’s making breaks for fun and I have to push myself just to stay with them really.
“We are all spurring each other on.
“As a group of forwards, we didn’t really click in any of the friendlies, but it’s really come together for us in the last three weeks.
“We’ve taken it on ourselves to do our job and really focus on being dominant.
“We’d heard they had a pitch inspection at Workington in midweek because the new pitch hadn’t taken so we prepared with that in mind and in the end, it was probably a bit better than we thought.
“There were some pretty bad patches on it though and it was certainly a forwards game.
“Keighley will bring another big set on Sunday with a few ex Halifax lads as well so it should be another good ding dong in the middle.
“We’re looking forward to it.”
Robinson singled out the former Featherstone prop Tonks, who is finding his form again after a 2012 season wrecked by injury, as being a particular influence during the winter.
“Tony’s become a bit like my dad,” laughed Robinson. “He’s taken me under his wing a little bit and he is always pushing me to do more in training or do extra training.
“He’s brought some extra professionalism with him when it comes to that side of it and that’s rubbed off on me.
“He had a bad year last year and he’s got a lot of pent up aggression in him that needs to come out.
“Providing he stays healthy, I think he’ll get better and better as the season goes on.”
Elsewhere, the Rugby Football League is expected to announce the venues for the 2013 Northern Rail Cup and Championship Grand Finals in the next 24 hours.
Fax’s Shay home remains favourite for the NRC showpiece, with Leigh Sports Village tipped as the venue for the title decider.
The previous venues at Blackpool and Warrington are believed to have been jettisoned by the Championship clubs for commercial reasons.