Marshall wants big name Challenge Cup draw

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall wants a home draw against a top Super League club in round six of the Challenge Cup.

Fax booked their place in Tuesday night’s draw (6.30) with a comfortable 36-12 success at League 1 Whitehaven on Sunday.

They will be joined by the top eight Super League sides, the other four Championship survivors and League 1 Barrow, potentially leaving several relatively straightforward routes into the last eight.

But Marshall said he would prefer a glamour tie at this stage rather than risk the competition becoming a “distraction”.

“Personally, I’d like one of the big guns at home now,” said Marshall.

“Realistically, it is going to be difficult for us to go a lot further in this competition now and I’d like to see us challenge ourselves against a top team in the next round and see how we get on.

“We’ll deal with whatever the draw throws up, but I don’t want the cup to become a distraction from making the Championship top four, because that’s got to be our priority.

“We don’t have the biggest squad, and dual registration isn’t something we can use in the Challenge Cup, and that’s something we’re aware of.”

Fax were never troubled on a sunny spring day in West Cumbria, opening up a 24-6 interval lead before comfortably closing things out in the second half.

Marshall, who left out in-form pair Will Sharp and Jacob Fairbank and was without the injured Ben Heaton and Simon Grix, also gave a debut to young back rower Martin Reilly.

“I wasn’t that impressed with our first half,” he said.

“We weren’t great in attacking areas; we put the ball down three or four times in ‘good ball’ but those two tries before the break gave us a nice cushion at half time.

“We only got to the kick twice on our exit sets in that first half and there were aspects of our attacking game that are wearing a bit thin with me.

“We did too much defending, but we did it well and, overall, we’re getting closer to where I want us to be.

“They scored a couple of scrappy tries, but we’re in the next round, which we’d have taken on the journey up there on Sunday morning.

“Young Martin did well on his first appearance at that level and Connor Robinson played well at full back, tidying up well and offering us something with the ball.”