Halifax’s caretaker coach Simon Grix was in upbeat mood after seeing his side claim a place in the last eight of the Challenge Cup with a 34-6 win at Championship rivals Dewsbury.
Fax were in control from the moment young centre Chester Butler opened the scoring, with an 18-6 half time lead turning into a more than convincing victory.
The club’s last appearance in the quarter finals was in 2002, when a teenage Grix was playing in the club’s Academy and Steve Linnane’s side lost to St Helens.
“It’s been a long time coming, but we earned our spot tonight,” said Grix, who has now won three from three since taking over from Richard Marshall.
“The attitude stuff we’re working on, we cranked it up a notch tonight; pushing that little bit harder for each other.
“It needs to be better again, going forward, but it was definitely an improvement.
“We got what we expected; Dewsbury played how they played last time we met them.
“They had a massive bench tonight and they play with a very combative style and it was our challenge to meet that.
“We did that and put a little bit of gloss on it with our game management.
“I think if you ask the players, they’d tell you it didn’t feel like a 34-6 game; everyone is a bit battered after that because it was a physical game.”
Grix recalled James Saltonstall in place of the injured Will Sharp, with hooker Ben Kaye also returning although full back Quentin Laulu-Togagae was again absent with a calf problem.
Saltonstall scored twice, with Butler taking his tally to five in three games since returning from injury to enhance his reputation as a player to watch.
“Scott Murrell wasn’t 100 per cent and a few of them played a bit busted,” said Grix, who will have his brother, Scott, in contention for next week’s Summer Bash date with Bradford.
“Chester made some telling touches; he’s definitely an athlete, he just needs to continue to work on that rugby league IQ.
“There’ll be people watching him, just as there were last year, but he needs to live up to that expectation and stay focused on that rather than reading the headlines.
“Q is doing everything he can, but he needed to do everything and a bit more in Thursday’s session to convince me and himself that he was ready.
“He didn’t feel he could, so he put his hand up.
“Scott will come into the frame next week, but Ben White is playing well, James Woodburn-Hall is playing well.
“It’s nice to have those decisions to make though.
“We’ll see how training goes this week.”