Fax hooker Moore pens new deal ahead of Rovers showdown

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Halifax have announced a clutch of contract extensions for the 2020 season, headlined by sought after hooker Brandon Moore.

Moore, who joined the club from Castleford four years ago, has penned a new one year deal, with an option for a second.

Former Leeds full back Reece Chapman-Smith, Welsh twins Curtis and Connor Davies and young threequarter Conor McGrath have also agreed to stay with the club.

Ironically, Moore will miss the club’s Shay return against Championship rivals Featherstone on Sunday (3.0) through suspension, with coach Simon Grix poised to use Castleford’s young number nine Jacques O’Neill - who has already featured for Fax’s second string this year - on dual registration.

Fax are on a four game losing streak in the league and sit six points behind Rovers, who currently occupy the fifth and final play off berth, after last weekend’s 24-20 loss at Bradford.

Grix conceded Sunday’s game is a ‘must win’ in the context of what seems an unlikely top five push, but, despite his palpable frustration with his team’s performance at Odsal, he says he will probably resist the temptation to make radical changes to his line up.

“We need to keep emotion out of the selection,” said Grix, whose side have not played at the Shay, due to annual pitch renovation work, since the beginning of May.

“We have players who aren’t in form, who have a lot of work to do personally, but there’s no point dropping the axe - which is the obvious emotional response after days like Sunday - if it ends up hurting the team.

“We’ve got some young players on the edges of selection, but at the moment I’m not sure that bringing them in, to a team that’s struggling, is going to be good for either them or the club.

“Some of our senior players are getting some stick at the moment, and some of that’s justified and some of it isn’t, but they are all hurting, they are all cheesed off with how the games have been going.

“We’ll see how everyone pulls up this week, but I think we’ll stick with the tried and trusted, because they’re motivated to go out there and start to get us back on track.

“Coaches generally don’t like the terminology of talking about ‘must win’ games, but I don’t think there’s much hiding from the fact that’s probably the reality this weekend.

“The league table tells us that Featherstone have been better than us so far this season, regardless of last week’s result against Barrow, so it’s a challenge for us.

“But we’re playing at home again after a long time on the road, the pitch is looking really good and we’re looking forward to it.”