Marshall recalls key duo, offers update on Tangata move

Halifax coach Richard Marshall will recall hooker Brandon Moore and winger Will Sharp to his side for the Good Friday derby against Bradford at the Shay (3.0).

Thursday, 18th April 2019, 5:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th April 2019, 5:35 pm

Moore missed last Thursday’s Challenge Cup upset against London with a hip injury while Sharp - one of the club’s outstanding individuals so far in 2019 - was rested.

But the pair will both return for the Bank Holiday blockbuster, although the bulk of the team that dumped the Super League Broncos out of the cup at the fifth round stage look likely to keep their places.

Marshall will definitely be without captain Scott Murrell, with hooker Ben Kaye and loose forward Simon Grix both major doubts.

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“We’ve got quite a few question marks,” said Marshall, whose side face a 3am trip to the airport in the early hours of Sunday for Monday’s clash in Toulouse.

“Brandon and Will will both come back in, but the rest will depend on who’s fit and who’s not.

“Scott definitely won’t play; we don’t think it’s a major injury, but it’s hard to say how long he’ll be out.

“The medical staff think two to three weeks, but Scott tells he might be able to play on Monday, so we’ll see.

“Ben’s damaged his bicep but might be okay and Simon’s in a similar position.

“Those two might end up being named in the 19, but whether or not they play is a different matter.

“We’ll see how everyone comes through on Wednesday night and make some decisions from there.”

Friday’s game is an important one in the context of the Championship table, with the local rivals locked together on 10 points, but Marshall believes a high intensity blockbuster would be on the cards in any case.

“It’s 80 minutes against your fiercest rivals,” said the former Fax front rower, a veteran of the clubs’ Super League derbies.

“You need to prepare for it as if it means more than other games, because it probably does.

“Bradford will be confident, we’ll be confident, and it should be a great contest.

“They’ve got some players in good form - Ethan Ryan’s been good at full back and Steve Crossley always causes problems up front - and physically they’re bigger than we are.

“We’ve got a tough Easter coming up, but we want to win on Friday and then go to Toulouse looking for a bonus win.”

Marshall also confirmed the club was on the verge of being able to bring Adam Tangata back to the Shay, assuming the Cook Islands international can secure a visa to stay in the UK.

Fax’s former director Ian Croad, who has now made a return in a new role as football manager, revealed on Monday that Tangata was a transfer target.

“We’re very close with Adam; the supporters have done a fantastic job and there are individuals and businesses I’ve approached who’ve also been brilliant in helping us out,” said Marshall.

“He’s got no shortage of interest, in the Championship and in Super League, and I think most of those offers, if not all of them, are probably more financially rewarding.

“But hopefully in four or five weeks when Adam is fit to play, he’ll be playing for Halifax, which is what he wants to do.”