Boss Marshall content as Fax put Rovers to the sword

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall reflected on an “80 minute performance” after his side trounced Featherstone 37-0 in their crucial Championship clash at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road.

Marshall’s side were in superb form against their top four rivals, captain Scott Murrell - who played half the game at hooker instead of his usual half back role - masterminding a crushingly one-sided success.

“We are pretty pleased with that,” said Marshall, whose side remain sixth, but are now level on points with both Rovers and Bradford, who lost to Leigh on Saturday.

“We got the double sided coin this week; resolute defence and the clinical attack.

“It was an 80 minute performance and it started at training on Tuesday.

“We prepared really well and the players are made up with how they’ve played against a very good Featherstone team.

“In terms of the league table, we’re where we were when we started the weekend, sixth, but in terms of performance we’ve taken a big step forward.

“We looked like a top four team, both offensively and defensively.”

Marshall’s side led 27-0 at the break after a blistering opening half and completed the job with clinical efficiency in the second half, with tries from James Saltonstall and Steve Tyrer rounding off a fine evening’s week.

“Our discipline could have been better at times, but I thought our defence was probably even better in that second half,” said Marshall.

“At 27-0, you know the game is not won, but it’s a different team talk to the ones we have been having recently.

“We were 30-10 up against Swinton and we ended up losing and the baggage from games like that helped us today.

“I actually thought we turned a corner defensively in the Oldham game last weekend and we improved on that again today.”

Marshall named half back Ben Johnston on the bench in the absence of young hooker Brandon Moore through injury, prefering the former Castleford number seven to more obvious alternatives Ryan Maneely and Connor Robinson.

“I felt we needed an extra spark today against a very good defence and I didn’t think an interchange hooker would be enough,” said Marshall, who played Johnston - who scored one try and made another - on the right side, with Murrell moving into dummy half.

“Scott obviously played very well and Ben did the job we wanted him to do.

“He wasn’t great against Widnes the other week off the bench but he played his part today.

“I honestly don’t know if that’s the way forward long term, but it worked for us in this game.

“It was just a very, very good team performance.”