Keighley v Halifax Preview: Panthers to throw ‘kitchen sink’ at Championship play-off push, says Simon Grix
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Fax enjoyed the comfort of sixth place after beating high-flying Toulouse last Saturday, but Batley Bulldogs’ victory over Whitehaven put them back down to seventh and out of the play-off picture as things stand.
However, wins against the Cougars and then at home to Swinton in the final round of fixtures, will give Grix’s men a fantastic chance of securing a top six place, especially with six of the top nine who are still in contention for the play-offs, thrillingly meeting each other this weekend.
On the climax to the season, Grix said: “We are preparing the best we can for Keighley which will be a tough game because they’re battling, as are Swinton who follow the week after.
“We aren’t going to have an easy game at all between now and the end but we have only got two games left to give ourselves a chance for the play-offs. We will be throwing everything at it - the kitchen sink.
“I don’t want to say that the pressure is on anybody else because the pressure is on us. I feel that we are capable and I have believed since day one that we are a top six team at least but, for numerous reasons, all sorts go on throughout the season and all these variables come into play and we have fallen foul of a few.
“We have put ourselves into a spot where we have got a chance. Do we deserve it? We can argue that one. But, over the course of the season, if we get in after what we’ve gone through, I think we can be really proud of this. If we make the play-offs, with the 1895 Cup in the bag, we can look back and say it has been a successful year for us.
“There is a bit to do yet but it would be nice to finish in good fashion for myself personally.”
On the challenge of Keighley, who still need at least one victory to avoid relegation back to League 1, Grix said:
“They have lost a lot of players as the season has gone on so they are quite fresh. They have got a new coach, new ideas and I am sure they will be playing somewhat differently.
“They have got some good players there, Harvey Spence, the half-back, Lewis Young, the full-back, Robbie Storey, I could keep going. They have got loads of really good players who have served Keighley really well.
“They are not dead and buried. Beating Halifax at home to secure their position in the league would be nice. Our ‘why’ has to be more important than their ‘why’ and I think that will be a driving force for us this week.”