Marshall frustrated as league points slip from grasp

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall vented his frustration after a rollercoaster night at Odsal on Good Friday ended in a 32-19 defeat.

Marshall’s side were in superb form before the break, building a 13-2 interval lead against James Lowes’ full time outfit.

But a penalty in the opening minute of the second half - Andy Bracek and Mitch Cahalane being pulled up for obstruction in midfield - gave the home side the platform to turn the game on its head with two tries in as many minutes.

And while Marshall labelled his side’s opening 40 minutes as their “season’s best” so far, the reality of a fourth loss in seven league starts was inescapable ahead of the Easter Monday home game against Hunslet (3.0).

“I want to be positive for my players, and be constructive, and there was a lot that pleased me in that first half,” said Marshall.

“But I was the same after Leigh, after Featherstone and after London and we’ve come away without any points again, so it’s difficult.

“That first half was our best 40 minutes of the season, but you don’t get any reward for playing for 40 minutes.

“We were great; if you were a neutral looking in at a part time side against a full time side on three times the salary, you would have been scratching your head.

“But we weren’t quite good enough in the second half to follow it through.

“They were always going to come back at some point, we knew that; they were on the field for 10 minutes waiting for us to come back out.

“But to give a penalty away with the ball is a big no no, especially in that situation.

“It meant we were straight under the cosh.

“Then to concede another break straight from the kick off, you can’t do that.

“You need to roll your sleeves up, get three men in each tackle and make sure they’re kicking out of their 30.”

The clash with the Hawks now takes on a huge significance as Fax battle to stay in the race for a lucrative top four finish.

“We’ll train once on Sunday and get ready for Hunslet,” said Marshall.

“We’ve got to be an 80 minute team on Monday; they’re a good side and they’ll no doubt have a few Leeds players in there too.

“If it’s not a must-win, it’s pretty close to it.

“We’ve got a few busted up players; Tyrer, Johnston, Heaton, we’re running on a small squad.

“But we’ll regroup and get ready to go again.”