it’s Crunch time for fax

Win at Barrow on Saturday night or the season is over.

That was the stark message from prop Jim Gannon as Fax prepare for a trip to Cumbria that is certain to be pivotal in the club’s bid for a play off place.

Fax will go into the game four points behind the Raiders who currently occupy the sixth and final play off place, but with a game in hand.

Victory could well put them in the box seats and in good heart for the Northern Rail Cup final the following weekend, while defeat would leave them with a mountain to climb.

“We are four points behind them so it is massive,” said Gannon.

“If they beat us our season is pretty much over.

“It is crunch time and we have to win the game.

“It might be leading into the cup final, but there will be no resting place and nowhere to hide. It’s game on.”

Fax extended their current run in the league to four wins from five games with victory over Dewsbury last weekend - and five out of six with the Northern Rail Cup semi-final win at Featherstone.

And that is the kind of form they have to maintain if they are going to challenge for a top six finish.

“There was a big gap early on with our poor performances, but we are clawing it back,” said Gannon.

“I wouldn’t say we were at our best on Sunday at Dewsbury, who gave us a really good game and were unlucky not to get a bonus point in the end.

“We have the individuals who can score the points but we need to play more as a team. We should not be relying on individual brilliance.

“We played better in the second half at the weekend and defended a lot better.

“It wasn’t our best but it was good and at this time of year you need to be getting the three points.”

Queensland provided captain Darren Lockyer with a fitting farewell to Origin football as they secured an unprecedented sixth straight series triumph in front of 52,498 delirious fans in Brisbane.

The 34-year-old stand-off was hugely influential on his 36th and final Origin appearance at the Suncorp Stadium, where centre Greg Inglis was back to his best with two of the Maroons’ six tries.

New South Wales had gone into yesterday’s decider on a high after drawing level in the series with an impressive win in Sydney but they were blown away in the first half, where the home side cruised into a 24-0 lead after 32 minutes.

The Blues rallied briefly but Queensland were generally dominant and not even the loss of scrum-half Johnathan Thurston with a potential season-ending knee injury could take the gloss off their win.

“It’s fantastic,” Lockyer told the crowd at the end. “I’ve never been so nervous. It’s such a great feeling.

“It is a relief. These guys have been fantastic and it’s a great way to finish. It has been a great journey.”