They might be down, but Cumbrians are not out

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IT would be easy for Halifax to think they are nailed-on winners at the Recreation Ground tomorrow.

That would be a big mistake.

Whitehaven might have endured a horror 2010, with a string of financial crises ending with relegation to Championship One.

But they are beginning to rebuild under the tutelage of their former centre David Seeds, and notched an impressive 16-16 draw with Championship play off hopefuls Sheffield at the Don Valley Stadium last weekend.

If that result isn’t enough to sharpen the minds of Matt Calland’s players, a look at the Haven teamsheet should be.

Sure, they have lost some of their star performers - the likes of hooker Graeme Mattinson and stand off Carl Rudd - but a lot of the names that will feature tomorrow will be the same ones that have inflicted such misery on Fax at the Recre since they dropped out of Super League at the end of 2003.

Calland’s side finally broke a lengthy losing streak with a league win in 2009, and were victorious again last season

But those results will count for nothing tomorrow, with the visit of the Champions likely to be all the motivation Seeds and his side will need.

For Calland’s part, he has juggled his resources once more as he builds towards next month’s league campaign, although the fact Fax are largely unchanged from one to seven should provide crucial continuity.