Halifax coach Richard Marshall has said his side would “shake up” the Championship with an against-all-odds win over leaders Toronto in London on Saturday night (6.30).
Fax face Paul Rowley’s side at the New River Stadium in Haringey in a ‘home’ game for the Canadian side, who switched the game to London due to ongoing stadium issues.
Toronto’s star-studded line up is currently a point clear at the top of the table, five points clear of Marshall’s part-time outfit, who go into the game on the back of a 46-18 win at Dewsbury last weekend.
“On the face of it, it would be ridiculous if we went there and won; it would really shake up the competition, that’s for sure,” said Marshall.
“We know we have raised our levels when we’ve played better opposition teams in the past, but when you’re playing a full time team that’s spending maybe £1.5million, sometimes even that isn’t going to be good enough to get a result.
“Rugby league isn’t always about what you spend though, it’s about the attitude you bring on the day.
“We will challenge them, but can we match them? We’ll have to see.
“They’re a very fast, athletic team who are very dangerous from inside their own half.
“Their whole backline are very quick and Gareth O’Brien and Ryan Brierley are very important, so we need to try and keep tabs on them.
“It’s a plastic pitch down there now as well, which probably favours them, and they’ve been down there all week getting used to the venue, but we still probably have a better chance than if we’d been going to Canada.
“If you start slowly though, you could be 30 points down very quickly indeed.”
Marshall will be without two of the stars of the win at Dewsbury, the former Toronto pair Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e and Dan Fleming, who are both barred from playing under the terms of their release agreements.
Versatile back Ben Heaton is likely to return to the side after making a comeback from injury in the reserves last weekend, with Will Sharp the obvious favourite to return to full back in place of QLT.
Utility player Ed Barber and London-born back James Woodburn-Hall were both pencilled in to play for the second-string against Wigan in midweek and could yet force their way into the reckoning.
Young props Sion Jones and Brandon Douglas, both rested against the Rams, are also in Marshall’s thoughts, particularly if Castleford front rower James Green - outstanding at the Tetley’s Stadium - is not available.
“We’re okay in terms of injuries,” said Marshall, who said back rowers Simon Grix and Shane Grady both missed training on Tuesday but were expected to play.
“We’re without Q and Dan, but Ben will come back in and probably Brandon Douglas as well.
“James is 18th man for Castleford on Friday night, but if he doesn’t play for them he’ll be available for us.
“There’s chance for those lads playing in the reserves on Wednesday as well, we’ll see how they go too.”