Fax’s returning players put themselves in frame for Rams

Fax's Richard Moore fires out an offload against Lock Lane
Fax's Richard Moore fires out an offload against Lock Lane

Halifax assistant coach Chris Rose believes Sunday’s 80-4 Challenge Cup romp against Castleford amateurs Lock Lane has thrown new names into the selection mix for Sunday’s Championship showdown with Dewsbury (3.0).

Fax reshuffled their line up in the aftermath of the league loss to Swinton, with winger Gareth Potts and half back Ben Johnston both returning from injury and hooker Ryan Maneely, utility players Connor Robinson and Ed Barber and veteran forward Andy Bracek all getting a run.

Potts, sidelined for seven months by shoulder surgery, caught the eye with two tries and a strong all-round game, while Barber, playing in his favoured back row spot, touched down four times to claim the official man of the match prize.

But assistant coach Chris Rose, who dissected the 14-try, fifth round success for the media in place of head coach Richard Marshall, believes all the returning sextet have given themselves a chance of facing the Rams.

“It was good to have the players who have been out of the team coming back in and giving a positive account of themselves,” said Rose.

“Potts was very good; he’s always a threat because he’s very strong physically and he’s quick.

“He probably needs to challenge himself a bit more in terms of his involvement in the game, but he looked sharp.

“Ed Barber was very good, Maneely gave us some threat going forward with good support play and Connor Robinson, Ben Johnston and Bracek both some good things.

“I think all the boys who came back in have given themselves a chance for the Dewsbury game.

“The thing that pleased us was what we did in ‘good ball’.

“We set ourselves a target of reducing the number of skill errors that we made, which was something that hurt us against Swinton, and we definitely did that.

“We didn’t capitalise last week on a 16-0 lead and it’s a lesson learned for us; hopefully we won’t allow ourselves mentally to make the same mistake again.”

Fax must wait until Thursday morning at 8.30am to discover who they will face in round six, with the draw being made live on Radio 4’s Today programme.

But Rose, who worked in youth development at both Leeds and Warrington before joining his hometown club, already has his eyes set on a reunion with one of his former employers.

“If it was for me, with the connections we have with Warrington - Richard having been there, me, Andy Holleyhead - it would be great to have them down here, that would be nice,” he said.

Fax have also confirmed their home league game against Oldham, originally scheduled for Sunday, May 22, has been brought forward to Friday, May 20, to avoid a clash with Halifax Town’s appearance at Wembley.