“We’ll have to be at our best” warns Saltonstall as Panthers prepare for Newcastle clash

After setting the Shay alight last weekend, James Saltonstall is now turning his attention to a potentially bruising battle against Newcastle Thunder.

Saturday, 7th August 2021, 8:30 am
James Saltonstall

The 27-year-old played a pivotal role in Halifax Panthers’ 24-21 win over Bradford Bulls last weekend. The player not only scored twice but also came up with the match-winning effort as the hosts sealed a memorable victory.

Saltonstall, who at one stage of his career did spend a bit of time at Bradford, was pleased with his contribution saying: “It’s always nice to score, especially against Bradford.

“Obviously, it’s a big game that we always look forward to, a local derby. To get over for a couple of tries and go on to seal the win, it was a good feeling really.

“We thought we let ourselves down when we played them earlier on. We had a big lead which we threw away. Obviously, we were looking to get one back against them this week which luckily, we did.

“We got off to a great start. But then I think they got a bit of a roll on and managed to go in-front. That’s kind of what happened when we played them the first time. We did have that in the back of our mind.

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve been in quite a few tight games that we’ve managed to come through and ultimately win. I think that confidence and knowing that we’ve been in these tight games before, it helped us get through in the end.”

Halifax will be targeting their ninth successive league win when they take on Newcastle this Sunday afternoon.

Even though the Panthers beat the Thunder 32-0 earlier in the season, Saltonstall is still expecting a tough encounter against the North-East outfit.

He said: “We went up there earlier in the season and it was a physical battle. We managed to come away with the points but I think since then they’ve had some wins.

“I know they lost at the weekend so they’ll be coming out firing, trying to get back on track with a victory. It won’t be an easy game. I’m expecting a tough game and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”