Fax boss concedes Qualifiers bid is “difficult” after reverse in capital

Halifax coach Richard Marshall conceded his side’s mission to hit the Championship’s top four was looking “difficult, but not impossible” after Sunday’s loss at in-form London.

Marshall watched his team drop three points off the pace a 34-6 loss to the in-form Broncos at Ealing.

And with just seven games remaining, five of which are away from home - starting against Sheffield at Belle Vue next Sunday (3.0) - the club’s chances of a place in the Super 8s Qualifiers are very much in the balance.

“It’s not impossible, but it is certainly difficult,” said Marshall, whose side have now lost back to back games against the teams around them.

“I said after the Toulouse game last week that London was one we needed to win and we’ve not done that.

“It’s not over, but realistically we’ve no margin for error now and we need some luck as well, both in terms of results elsewhere and injuries.

“We had four or five players missing at the weekend and we’ve picked up a couple more knocks on top of those.

“We just didn’t start well enough; we were 20 points down before we got going and I feared the worst at one point.

“London are playing very well and we need to give the players some credit for coming back and making it a contest in the second half.”

With his side’s long-running attacking issues highlighted against Toulouse, Marshall moved talented Londoner James Woodburn-Hall from centre to stand off to try and spark Fax’s backline.

“James has been desperate to play there and it’s not an experiment I came away thinking had failed, despite the result,” said Marshall, who also gave a senior debut to rookie winger Connor McGrath in the absence of the injured James Saltonstall.

“He did okay, I’d have liked his kicking game to be better, but he made a couple of breaks and offered us a threat.

“Ben Johnston came off the bench and sparked us up around dummy half, sharing that role with Scott Murrell.”

Marshall reported several injury concerns, with on loan front rower Brandon Douglas (ankle), Rob Worrincy (groin), Woodburn-Hall (foot) and Mitch Cahalane (cheekbone) all being assessed today.

“Brandon’s gone back to Castleford to get his ankle checked and James is having an X ray,” he said.

“Hopefully, none of those are too bad.”