Halifax’s Simon Grix has described Sunday’s win over Hull KR, which secured the club’s place in the Super 8s Qualifiers as a “special” moment in his career.
Grix, who began his career with his hometown club as a 16 year old before spending a decade with Super League big guns Warrington, was one of several players who needed pain killing injections to make it onto the field against Tim Sheens’ league leaders.
And after starring in a stunning 28-6 success, the experienced back rower was quick to put the achievement into context.
“For where the club is at, it’s massive,” said Grix, who doubles up as one of Marshall’s assistant coaches.
“Last autumn, we weren’t in a good spot; the senior players were told ‘you need to give up 10 per cent or the club is gone’.
“We all did that, bought into sticking together and trying to get that money back.
“In reality, we have no right to be in that top four when you look at what other teams have spent, but we’ve done it.
“I looked at our squad picture the other day and there were 25 players on it.
“Luke Ambler, Gaz Moore and Connor Robinson have gone, we’ve had a smattering of Salford players and plenty of injuries.
“When you’re playing teams with 30 full time players week on week, that’s a big deal.
“Even people who know the game don’t see what happens behind the scenes; we’ve had four or five players lads on Sunday who needed needles to play and probably shouldn’t have played.
“But they barred up because it’s not just about yourself.
“It’s not even about the money for me, it’s about us coming together as a group and doing something special.
“In your career, you might play 15 years, which is 15 Cup final chances and 15 Grand Final chances.
“Where we are, most lads are not going to be contesting those games so to have a chance of doing something special like this, something you’re going to remember, is great.
“It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Coach Richard Marshall has already hinted at the possible consequences for the club’s 2018 squad of missing the top four, something Grix echoed.
“The repercussions of losing would have been that this squad would not have looked anywhere near similar next year,” he said.
“Now, we’ve got the opportunity to retain a chunk of the players and hopefully add a little bit.
“We’ve nothing to fear in the Qualifiers. Teams will overlook us and there’s no pressure so we’ll just go and have a good crack at it.
“You only need a couple of wins and all of a sudden you find yourself climbing up a couple of places.
“We’ve got two full weeks of no contact now, so that will do us the world of good physically.
“And you don’t get many weekends off so to have some time to spend at home with your family is welcome after the last few weeks.”