In-form Halifax Panthers still a way from 'finished article' says Finn

Despite winning six games in a row, Halifax Panthers are far from the ‘finished article’ according to assistant coach Liam Finn, writes Seb Sternik.

By Mark Berry
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 11:38 am
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2022, 11:41 am

Fax moved to fourth in the table following a tempered all-Yorkshire clash against Sheffield Eagles last weekend.

The Panthers won 38-14 in a match which saw three sin-bins and multiple brawls in the middle of the field.

Looking back on the match, Finn admitted the Eagles got off to a fast start but also believes that the events which followed were unsavoury.

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Liam Finn

The former Halifax player said: “They were looking to keep hold of the ball as much as they could because their 17 was light on props.

“They started really well and put us under some pressure but the way you counter that is exactly what we did.

“We got into the game and we got our sets out. We got our big men on the ball and our outside backs carrying the ball hard and aggressively.

“We got the ruck speed quick and started getting on top of them. It took its toll a little bit and obviously then, discipline completely shot.

“It’s not really our concern but they had some silly boys in their team who did some silly things and don’t really back it up with what they’re doing with the ball.

“It’s just more of a pantomime towards the end. Makes it look a bit of a shambles but that’s not for us to worry about. We’re worried about us and what we can do and how we control our game.

Despite a slow start to the campaign, Halifax are now beginning to emulate last season’s nine-match unbeaten run which saw them clinch a third-placed finish.

When asked about the rise in form, Finn added: “It’s not a secret, we changed a lot of players over pre-season. Anyone will tell you that it takes a little bit of time to get everybody working together. We probably became our own worst enemies in the first three or four games. It cost us a couple of wins and we didn’t deserve to win those games.

“We’ve started to get a bit of cohesion, we started to feel out our best combinations and how we can put them together. We’re starting to see the benefits of that. When we play our best, we look pretty good.

“But we’re still not the finished article. We still haven’t put together an 80-minute performance yet. We’ve won our last six games and we probably only played - apart from Bradford which was a different type of game - we’ve probably played 50 or 60 minutes of good rugby.”

Next up for the Panthers is Sunday's much-anticipated encounter at third-placed York City Knights.

Finn expects a difficult clash, saying: “It’s really intriguing going over there. Nice new stadium, good team, well coached. It will be a challenge for us, a challenge for our boys.

“We have to do what we do and do it well and be prepared for what they do well. Try and negate their major threats. Very interesting clash next week, one we’re looking forward to.”