Grix wants Halifax Panthers to ‘throw everything’ at York City Knights

A dream return to Super League is just three wins away for the Halifax Panthers who kick off their Championship play-off campaign against York City Knights this Sunday, writes Seb Sternik.
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After leading the team to a third-placed finish for the second successive season, head coach Simon Grix is now turning his attention to the play-off quarter-final which he described as a ‘grand final’.

Ending the campaign on the podium ensured home advantage for a Fax side which has lost just five of their last 23 competitive games at The Shay – a run which stretches back to June 2021.

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Halifax have won four straight games against York, including three encounters in West Yorkshire. But despite their recent fortunes against the Panthers, and their sixth-placed finish in the regular season, Grix is certainly not underestimating the challenge at hand.

Halifax Panthers fans. Pic: Simon HallHalifax Panthers fans. Pic: Simon Hall
Halifax Panthers fans. Pic: Simon Hall

“Next week is our grand final, and if we get through that, there will be another grand final,” said the Fax head coach. “It’s York’s grand final, it’s Barrow’s, it’s Batley’s grand final. We’re not football. Whatever you’ve done for the last 27 rounds, it’s got you where you are but it doesn’t mean anything.

“Next week it’s a new competition. You’re sort of defined by how you get on in the play-offs. I think we’ve had a great season, eclipsed our performances and quality from last year. We’ve done really well. But we’re jumping at a new competition, and we’ll crack on with that.

“It is a one off. It’s anyone’s game really. But I do think we’re in a good spot. York have knocked a couple of good wins off lately so they’re not in a bad spot either. It’ll certainly be a good encounter anyway.”

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York have only picked up five wins from their last 11 games – a run which includes a 100-4 thrashing at the hands of league leaders Leigh Centurions.

However, since that capitulation, James Ford’s side have recovered well and closed out the campaign with three straight victories.

Grix believes York’s final league placing doesn’t reflect their potential threat in the quarter-final, saying: “We’ve got to throw everything at York.

"They’ve ended up sixth, they had a very consistent season. But finishing sixth is not a measure of their season. It’s a measure of how tight this competition is."