Challenge Cup fifth round preview: Halifax Panthers to ‘throw the kitchen sink’ at Bradford Bulls says Simon Grix
and live on Freeview channel 276
Fax suffered their first home defeat of the season against The Bulls on Easter Monday but bounced back well to beat York City Knights 16-6 last Sunday.
And Grix, ahead of the enticing rematch with the Bulls, admitted last week’s was important. He said:
“It has provided a better feeling. It was good to get the win. We did everything but score points in the game. We were dominant, played some really good stuff and looked a bit more like us for most parts of the game. We just didn’t get over the line.
“All the eggs go into this basket now in a knockout comp. We will throw the kitchen sink at this week and see where we are at.
“We are rivals but there isn’t any ill-feeling between the clubs I don’t think. But losing at home a couple of weeks ago, you want to beat your rival. We need to improve on our last couple of performances and give ourselves a chance.
“That was the difference between us last time - we gifted them quite a bit. If we can tighten that up, it will be a good contest.”
Asked what he learned from the 26-22 defeat in round eight of the Championship season, Griz said:
“Look at the first five minutes alone, we put the ball on the tee, kicked off and gave a penalty play three. The next time we touched it was to throw the ball on the floor in our own in-goal.
“They scored. Then we placed it on the tee. You are talking six, seven minutes’ worth of putting the ball on the tee twice and doing one poor dummy half pass. That probably took us about 15 minutes to get over. Late in the game we lost a man for ten minutes and we were in it - it was a four-point loss.
“It’s about cutting out the rubbish really. I know it sounds cliched, but it’s about controlling what we can, which is our skill, execution and discipline and we can give ourselves a chance.
“We probably had enough to win it despite the number of bloopers we came up with and the sin bin. We need to make sure we give ourselves a chance by cutting some of that rubbish out of our game, that will go a long way to a good performance.”
Asked if the 1895 Cup was important, Grix emphatically replied:
“Definitely. Some people play their whole careers without getting the opportunity to play a final in any competition and some of our lads aren’t getting any younger. Therefore, this is it.
“This might be the last opportunity to play at one of those big venues, to put themselves in the mix for that. Obviously we’ve got to beat Bradford, win another game. That definitely serves as motivation.”
And Grix is hoping for another big crowd at The Shay, in front of the BBC cameras.
“I know it’s on TV but there’s nothing like taking a game in in the flesh,” Grix said. “To get 3,000 on a Monday night is great. Saturday evening, I’d like to think you can get better than that.
“For the neutral, I’m sure that previous game and the four-point margin would suggest it was competitive and enjoyable to watch. Hopefully plenty of people turn out.”