Fax boss: I believe pack can deliver against the Eagles

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall has said he still has faith in the club’s forwards ahead of Sunday’s crucial Championship fixture against Sheffield at the Shay (3.0) but knows they need to start delivering sooner rather than later.

Fax’s pack, and their ability to lay a consistent platform, has been under the microscope since last summer, with last weekend’s 24-6 mauling at Batley - which saw the home side dominate in the middle of the field - prompting fresh questions.

And Marshall, himself a former front rower, admits they need to start answering those questions against the Eagles.

“I know what those players can do,” said Marshall, who said his side’s performance at Mount Pleasant had been the subject of an extensive post mortem at Tuesday night’s training session.

“It’s basically the same pack that dominated teams in 2015, so we know it’s in there.

“Collectively, their confidence has probably taken a bit of a dip, but I’m sure they can turn it around.

“I’m confident they can do that, and start imposing themselves on teams, but at the same time they need to do it soon.

“Batley’s forwards played a lot more direct than we did at the weekend; they didn’t play to pass, they played to bust the line.

“We had a lengthy review on Tuesday; we got a lot of stuff out of the way and there were a lot of glum faces, because the camera never lies.

“There were probably only three players who came out of that game with credit, Simon Grix, James Saltonstall and James Woodburn-Hall.

“As a performance, it’s tainted our reputation as a team, and certainly the way we view ourselves, and we need to start putting that right against Sheffield in terms of our attitude and application and our discipline.

“Sheffield will fancy this; they’ve beaten us in situations like this before and they’ll want to do it again.

“We need to start to look for those little wins that give you confidence within games - a big shot in defence, a strong run - and build from those.”

Marshall will give a debut to loan hooker Adam O’Brien, while Salford forward Ryan Lannon is also likely to feature on dual-registration.