Ambler: Fax must focus on semi final chance

Luke Ambler
Luke Ambler

Halifax prop Luke Ambler has urged his teammates not to dwell on last week’s hefty defeat by Featherstone Rovers as the club switches focus to Friday night’s Northern Rail Cup semi final at Sheffield (7.30).

Karl Harrison’s long-time Co-operative Championship leaders lost 24-4 to the reigning champions, a result that dropped them to second on the ladder, two points behind Daryl Powell’s side.

“It was more than disappointing; personally I was absolutely gutted,” said Ambler, who is with his hometown club on a dual-registration deal from Leeds Rhinos.

“It was a game we wanted to win because it would have taken us a long-way towards securing first place, but it is just one game.

“It’s a cliche, but it’s all about the next one now and that’s at Sheffield on Friday night.

“To be honest, I think Thursday night had been coming for a while; we’ve not been playing badly but we’ve been giving ourselves too much to do at times and against a top quality side like Featherstone it caught up with us.

“We’ve no reason not to be confident though. Wigan lost to Bradford at the weekend, but will they be thinking they’re not a champion team any more? No.

“We’ve got a week to get ready for Sheffield, so we’ll rip in at training and turn up ready to play in another massive game.

“I’ve never played in a final at senior level before and it’s something I want to do this year with this team.”

Fax have already won at Sheffield this season, beating the Eagles in league action at Bramall Lane.

But with Friday’s last-four showdown to be played across the city at the Don Valley Stadium, Ambler insists the visitors will need to be at their absolute best to book their place in the competition decider in Blackpool at the end of the month.

“We’ve beaten them already quite convincingly, but we’d beaten Featherstone at their place so it’s the same situation again,” he said.

“They’ll have a point to prove, we’ll have a point to prove.

“It’s about who wants to go to Blackpool the most.”