Fax’s Woodburn-Hall reflects on defining moment as Grix names squad for midweek clash with Sheffield

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Halifax’s Challenge Cup hero James Woodburn-Hall reflected on one of the ‘best tries’ of his career after Sunday’s 20-16 Challenge Cup quarter final at Bradford.

Woodburn-Hall, who came off the bench in the unfamiliar position of loose forward, had already helped lay on one score for Scott Grix when he broke the Bulls’ line with six minutes to go.

The Londoner, who had played for League 1 Hunslet on dual-registration a week ago, kept his cool to fool full back Ethan Ryan and touch down under the posts, turning a 16-14 deficit into a matchwinning lead.

Fax will now play Super League favourites St Helens in a semi final double header at Bolton on July 27, with the RFL confirming Fax will kick off at 4.30pm, immediately after Hull take on Warrington.

“I’ll remember that for ever,” said Woodburn-Hall.

“At first, I was thinking ‘Just get the ball away’ because I knew I had QLT on the inside and you don’t want to go yourself in that situation and get tackled.

“But Ethan made the decision for me, really.

“I spoke to him afterwards and he’d had it in his head that he was going to go for the make or break play and try for the intercept.

“I saw him move in the corner of my eye and couldn’t believe it; I’m absolutely elated, that’s one of the best tries I’ve scored in my career.

“Having been at Hunslet last week it was a massive step up.

“I was buzzing to be in the squad, because Simon didn’t have to pick me this week.

“But he’s been honest from the start and said that if you’re playing well, you’ll get your chance.

“I got my chance and hopefully I made the most of it.

“We’ve got Steve (Tyrer) and Liam (Cooper) who have ties with Saints, so it’s going to be amazing for them.

“It’s at a great venue and the atmosphere should be brilliant, so I can’t wait.”

Coach Simon Grix has named a youthful squad for Wednesday night’s 1895 Cup game against Sheffield at Keighley (8.0), with none of the players who figured against the Bulls in action.

The 19-man line contains a smattering of players who have played first team rugby in recent weeks - notably the Davies brothers, Connor and Curtis, prop Will Calcott, full back Reece Chapman-Smith and half back Ben White - but Grix has clearly taken the decision to prioritise Sunday’s Championship game at Leigh.

Young back rower Oliver Waite, signed from Wigan by Grix’s predecessor Richard Marshall, also looks like to play.

Bradford coach John Kear, whose side have to travel to Barrow, made it clear after Sunday’s game he would take the same approach, saying it would be ‘cruel’ to ask his players to perform twice in four days.