Richard Marshall will ask his injury-hit Halifax side for another surge of “energy and enthusiasm” as they attempt to clinch an against-the-odds top four finish at Featherstone this weekend (3.0).
Fax, who nudged Toulouse down to fifth with victory in France last weekend, could seal fourth, and a lucrative place in the Super 8s Qualifiers, if they win at Rovers and the French side lose at leaders Hull KR.
But they will have to do so without key forward Adam Tangata, who only returned to action last weekend, after the Cook Islands forward suffered a serious knee injury in the 16-8 success.
Tangata, hotly tipped to join Super League outfit Wakefield Trinity next season, has torn his medial ligament and seems likely to have played his last game in the blue and white.
“We’ve got some tired, busted bodies and I don’t think we’ll have anyone who could say they were absolutely 100 per cent,” said Marshall.
“But that’s the situation we’re in with a small squad and, at this time of year, it’s as much a question as mentality as anything else because lots of players throughout the competition are in that position.
“We’re in a position where we know that if we win our last two games, we’ll be in the four, so we need a last push of energy and enthusiasm now.
“Featherstone won’t do us any favours, they’re fighting for that second spot with London, so they’ll be extremely motivated.
“They’ve played extremely well this season and they are where they are because of that.
“They’re resting players each week, which is a luxury we don’t have, and it’s a big challenge for us to go there and get a result.
“But that’s what we need to do.
“Unfortunately, we’ll have to do it without Adam, who has a grade three tear of his medial ligament.
“It doesn’t need surgery, but it’s probably a 10 week injury, so realistically he probably won’t play again this season.
“There’s no doubt that’s a massive blow for us at this stage.”
Marshall had better news on the injured Shane Grady and Michael Sio, who both have rib problems but are expected to play.
There will be no reinforcements from Super League side Salford though, as their coach Ian Watson wrestles with his own fitness issues, leaving Marshall with precious few selection options.