Fax’s Marshall: Young talent enhanced their chances

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall said young guns Elliot Morris and Brandon Moore had rubber stamped their status as contenders for places in his Championship side after making strong debuts in Saturday’s 78-0 Challenge Cup win over amateurs Pilkington Recs.

Fax ran in 14 tries against the St Helens side at Langtree Park, with half back Gareth Moore scoring two in a dominant playmaking performance.

Moore, the former Castleford hooker, and Morris, the ex-Huddersfield prop, both played strongly to leave Marshall with options ahead of the Easter double header against Oldham and Bradford.

“I was pleased with Elliot and Brandon,” said Marshall.

“Elliot made some strong contributions and Brandon is a real pocket battleship around the ruck.

“I don’t think Brandon was overly impressed with his own performance, but I thought he was good.

“He said to me afterwards ‘I have a couple of things I need to improve on, Rich’ and it’s good that he’s already analysing that.

“We’ve probably lost a couple elsewhere in the team, but I think we’ve gained a couple there too.”

The ‘lost’ players were full back Miles Greenwood and centre Steve Tyrer, who left the field with head and leg injuries, joining the likes of captain Scott Murrell, Ben Johnston and James Saltonstall on the injured list.

“You want to win these games and you want to come away injury free, but we only got one out of the two this time,” said Marshall.

“Miles got a nasty cut on his head and there might be some concussion there.

“We’ll assess him through the week and he might be okay for Oldham on Good Friday, but if there’s any doubt he won’t be risked.

“Steve doesn’t look good, he might have torn his calf, which would be a big, big loss to us.

“We’ve got Ben Heaton who can go there, but Steve’s an important player for us.

“Overall, I thought we did okay.

“They’re an amateur team, but we were respectful of them and they showed some good skill, particularly in their first few sets when they threw quite a lot at us.

“There were a lot of changes and we had people playing all over the place at various stages, so it’s not always going to go to plan.

“We pushed up with the ball carrier though, which is something we’ve fallen down on in the last few weeks, and I thought it was a lot more of a team performance.

“I thought the pace of the game was poor; they walked to everything and that can affect you mentally, but I thought we did a decent job of rising above that.”