Grix hoping to keep Halifax Panthers' special run going against Dewsbury Rams

With seven straight victories under their belt, it’s clear that something special is beginning to take shape at Halifax Panthers, writes Seb Sternik.
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Simon Grix’s side will now target win number eight when they host an out-of-form Dewsbury Rams side in Championship round 13 next Tuesday.

Last weekend, Fax added York City Knights to their hit list after a dramatic 40-24 victory away in North Yorkshire.

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This, however, was no ordinary win. Not only did the Panthers come back from an 18-6 deficit, but they also displayed incredible resolve after going down to 11-men following back-to-back sin-bins.

Halifax Panthers showed great determination to see-off York City Knights last week. Picture: Simon HallHalifax Panthers showed great determination to see-off York City Knights last week. Picture: Simon Hall
Halifax Panthers showed great determination to see-off York City Knights last week. Picture: Simon Hall

Victory over the Knights leaves Halifax fourth in the Championship, just two points away from their opponents.

While catching the likes of Featherstone and Leigh may seem insurmountable, the battle for third appears to be well and truly on.

Panthers boss Simon Grix underlined the importance of this win, saying: “Closing the gap is nice. Our discussions internally are, win this and the table in a couple of weeks really starts taking shape.

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“This [win] will hopefully make us part of the group of teams that have something to hang on to, as opposed to the group who are chasing. It’s a really big win.

“We turned it around once we got our bodies back on the field, we looked confident again. I thought we looked comfortable in that opening period before the sin-bins came in.

“When we get it right, we’re tough to handle. It’s almost like watching fast-forward at times, how fast we’re getting the ruck going, which is great. But still, loads to work on.”

“The win is important but the performance is really good as well."

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While Grix had plenty of praise for his team, he was particularly impressed with the Halifax skipper.

He said: “I could go through man to man and tell you something great they did. One bloke who I just don’t think gets enough recognition at times, Brandon Moore. Eighty minutes in the middle of the field; at the end of the game, he’s leading the kick pressure; he’s the first there on every kick chase. Unbelievable effort. A lot to be proud of. I think that was a really good performance from us.”

The focus now turns to Dewsbury Rams who will visit the Shay on Tuesday, May 31. The fixture was rearranged after both clubs agreed to bring the match forward by a couple of days.

Considering both clubs face huge fixtures in the first week of June - with Halifax travelling to Leigh and Dewsbury hosting fellow strugglers Whitehaven - the date change will provide crucial preparation time.

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Grix underlined the importance of those extra couple of days, saying: “It’s massive. Part-time teams, it’s a difficult thing to do. To give us the best opportunity to perform in both games we fell that was the way forward.

“Obviously, [we’ve] got to thank Dewsbury for being accommodating, I know they’ve got a big game against Whitehaven after our game as well.”