Grix expects focus as in-form Panthers go for sixth win on the bounce

A sixth win on the bounce in the Betfred Championship beckons for the resurgent Halifax Panthers but Sunday’s home clash with Whitehaven has the potential to end the charge of Simon Grix’s team.

By James Robinson
Friday, 9th July 2021, 4:04 pm
Halifax Panthers v Widnes Vikings. Photo: Simon Hall/OMH Pics
Halifax Panthers v Widnes Vikings. Photo: Simon Hall/OMH Pics

In fact, Grix is expecting the Cumbrians to pose a big threat, saying: “I’ve watched a couple of their games, it’s probably the best Whitehaven team I’ve seen for a while, with a some X-Factor in their side.

“They’re an effort side, they play a tough, physical game and we don’t expect anything different this week. They move the ball well and score some good tries.”

Last weekend’s thrilling 17-16 win over Widnes Vikings (see report on page 76) lifted Fax into fourth place, level on points with third-placed Bradford Bulls, but Grix now knows that keeping focus is now key.

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He added: “We have seen it before when we play teams below us. We went to Oldham and were complacent, and we were soundly beaten.

“We’ll look for a professional performance again, and if we do that and look after the ball, it’ll go a long way towards getting the two points.

“The next game is always our most important and we will prepare in the same manner.”

There is some welcome news from the Panthers’ treatment room ahead of this weekend’s outing.

Grix revealed: “Ben Tibbs has been out with Covid, but he’ll be back with us this week and conducting his return to play protocol. Connor McGrath and Kevin Larroyer are also back this week after head knocks.

“Connor Robinson and Ed Barber have been out long term and they are coming back in a couple of weeks now. That’s good for us, as we are pretty low on numbers right now.”