Marshall: We can’t afford to be conservative

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall defended his side’s right to push the pass after they slipped to a 34-12 loss to Hull KR in their second Super 8s Qualifier at New Craven Park.

In a contest that had marked similarities to last week’s 14-0 reverse to Widnes, Fax were in the game until the closing stages, trailing the Challenge Cup finalists 22-12 inside the final 10 minutes.

“It was very like last week; we put ourselves in the picture in the second half to potentially go on and win the game,” said Marshall, who brought winger Gareth Potts into the side as a replacement for the injured Tommy Saxton.

“We had chances; if Dane Manning and Scott link up at 10 points behind and we score and it changes the complexion of the game.

“It didn’t happen and Hull KR are a quality team and they’ve wrapped it up in those last five minutes.

“Again, the final scoreline probably didn’t reflect the effort we put in and I am more disappointed with it this week because of the experience we had against Widnes; we need to address that this week.

“We probably chanced our arm a little bit too much, but it’s catch 22; in our position, if you don’t chance your arm at times against these teams, you are just going to get beaten up anyway.

“I thought our defence was good again and I thought the older guys - Scott Murrell, Richard Moore - really led us well and caused them problems.

“Scott didn’t have a point to prove coming back here; he plays like that, with that exuberance, every week and that’s infectious for the team.

“I was disappointed we couldn’t give him a better memory with a win, but there’s a lot to build on from that second half.

“At the moment, we’re just happy to be part of this competition.”

The catalyst for Fax’s best spell of the game, deep into the second half, was a tactical reshuffle that saw former Rovers half back Connor Robinson leave the field, with Ben Johnston switching to half back and James Saltonstall filling the full back role.

“There were a few position changes; we moved Ben, we put Ed Barber back into the centre, James to full back, because we needed to change something,” said Marshall, whose side now take on a Championship side, Sheffield Eagles, at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium next Sunday (4.15).

“It was difficult for Connor coming back here and it went away from him a little bit towards the end.

“We needed a bit more direction and I thought Ben gave us that.

“It’s something we’ll look at it in more detail during the week.”