Johnston: Possession will be key against Vikings

Ben Johnston
Ben Johnston
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Young half back Ben Johnston believes Halifax can spring a Challenge Cup shock against Widnes on Sunday, providing they can secure the lion’s share of possession.

Johnston is as aware as anyone in Karl Harrison’s camp of current Super League standards having been a full time player with Castleford over the last two seasons.

And the rookie number seven, whose early season form is keeping experienced playmaker Simon Brown out of the side, is optimistic ahead of the meeting with Denis Betts’ side (2.0).

“We’re happy to be the underdogs in this game and we’re looking forward to getting out there in front of a big crowd and having a go at Widnes,” said Johnston, whose running game ripped Doncaster to shreds in Sunday’s 48-6 Championship success.

“Super League teams play a faster game, but in terms of attitude and the expectations we have of each other it’s no different to what we have here at Halifax.

“We need to be patient, complete our sets, stay in the arm wrestle and be well disciplined.

“We can’t afford to give away cheap penalties or possession against a team like that.”

“If we can do that, we’re confident we can cause an upset.”

Whatever the result against Widnes, Fax have a game of potentially greater significance the following week against league leaders Leigh, who they currently trail by four points.

“Leigh is massive for us,” said Johnston.

“We looked at these fixtures as a block of three and we got off to a great start against Doncaster at the weekend.

“It’s one down, two to go now and hopefully we can come away with three wins.

“The main thing is the league; we want that top two spot and we need to keep some focus on that.”