DEFEAT in last weekend’s Northern Rail Cup final has sharpened Halifax’s appetite for Grand Final success.
That’s the verdict of playmaker Danny Jones ahead of Sunday’s Co-operative Championship date with York at the Shay.
Fax go into the clash against the Knights two points shy of sixth-placed Barrow with a game in hand, although the Raiders’ slender advantage is expected to be wiped out in the next seven days by a rumoured six-point penalty for salary cap breaches.
And with Fax looking to bury the memories of last weekend’s last-play 20-16 loss to Leigh in the Bloomfield Road showpiece, Jones underlined the importance of the meeting with Dave Woods’ side.
“We need to have a good charge into the play offs now and generate some momentum, starting on Sunday,” said Jones.
“What happened on Sunday will only make us more hungry for the play offs and the Grand Final.
“It’s a tough way to lose.
“We did it to Featherstone in the semi final and to have it done to us, it’s hard to take.
“When you come so close, you feel that disappointment and you don’t want that feeling again.
“It will definitely drive us on now towards that Grand Final.
“It’s going to be a tough ask coming from fifth or sixth, but if any team can do it it’s this Halifax team because there is so much character in it.”
Jones was at the centre of a dramatic last 12 minutes in Blackpool, kicking the sideline conversion that put Fax 16-10 ahead, but then enduring some bad luck as the Centurions built towards eventual victory.
“It was definitely a mix of feelings,” said the former Ovenden junior.
“Nothing seemed to go right in the last 10 minutes.
“I didn’t get a kick away, I tried to step on to my right foot, didn’t have enough time and got caught in possession.
“The charge down was one of those things: Should I let them kick it or do I put pressure on?
“Given a choice, I will put the pressure on every time.
“The ball off my shoulder I didn’t know much about, I think he just threw it out and it hit me.
“Some days you get those calls and some days you don’t.
“We were in control for a lot of the game, but in the end we probably didn’t control the ball well enough in that final quarter.”