"We want to give a really good account of ourselves" - Panthers boss Grix on Monday's televised clash against Leigh

Part-time Halifax Panthers will feel the brunt of Monday night rugby more than their full-time opponents according to head coach Simon Grix.

By Seb Sternik
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 1:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2022, 1:42 pm

The Panthers are set to make their Premier Sports bow this coming Monday when they welcome Leigh Centurions to the Shay.

With bright lights and tv cameras set to grace the venue, Halifax are planning to turn the fixture into an event with numerous off-field activities set to take place.

When asked about the challenges of playing on a Monday, Grix said: “Obviously we’re part-time. Leigh are full-time. It doesn’t really matter to them too much, I don’t think.

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Simon Grix. Photo: SImon Hall/OMH Rugby Pics

“For our part-time boys, I doubt many will be missing work on Monday. I doubt many will be missing work on the Tuesday as well, so there’s some stuff we have to factor in.

“Obviously the week leading up, we’ll alter our training schedule so we’re not training too far away to the Monday game. Then our recovery changes as well because they probably get home at 11 o’clock on Monday night, go to work, the full day the next day.”

This is the first season which has seen Premier Sports broadcast Championship games in their weekly Monday night slot.

The extra television coverage of the competition appears to be popular with viewers considering a peak audience of 90,000 watched Featherstone’s clash with Leigh in round two.

Grix is also impressed by the early impact of Premier Sports saying: “From what I’ve seen so far, the production has been good and we want to give a really good account of ourselves on there. Not only on the pitch but off it as well by showing what the Championship clubs can showcase.

“Looking forward to it but we’ve got a bit of work to do before we get there.”

More importantly than putting on a show for the cameras, Halifax will be targeting the two points after winning just one of their opening four Championship games this season.

Halifax are currently 11th in the league and are the only team in the bottom eight with a positive points difference - a fact which underlines just how close their defeats have been.

The Panthers will enter Monday’s game on the back of dramatic back-to-back losses against Featherstone. Despite valiant displays in both fixtures, Grix is hoping his side can show further improvement against Leigh adding: “We’re not always going to get the results throughout the season. It’s a tough competitive league, as we all talk about and we all understand.

“Making sure performance is on the up all the time is the important bit. Even when you got to the ‘mastered it’ sort of stage, you still need to be looking for ways to improve.

“We’re like no one else in that regard, we’ll keep looking to get better every week. That’s collectively and individually because obviously, it all ads up at the end.”

Monday’s game between Halifax and Leigh gets underway at 7.45pm.