Fax boss Marshall praises “complete” performance in win over Leigh

Ben Heaton was back on top form
Ben Heaton was back on top form

Halifax stayed in the hunt in the Super 8s Qualifiers after shocking promotion hopefuls Leigh at the Shay.

Fax ran out 34-12 winners after a performance that boss Richard Marshall rated as up there with their best of a stellar 2015 season.

Fax led 20-0 at the break and resisted a brief Leigh comeback at 20-12 before killing the contest with back to back tries from Scott Murrell and Steve Tyrer.

Victory lifted Fax off the bottom of the ladder into seventh above Sheffield, who lost at Salford, and leaves them just two points shy of fourth-placed Wakefield - their hosts at Belle Vue next Saturday night (6.0) - in a tightly packed table.

“I thought we were the dominant side for the majority of the game,” said Marshall, whose side will finish their Qualifiers campaign at Bradford on September 27.

“We had that blip after half time when they put a couple of tries on, which we half expected because they’re a quality team, but for 95 per cent of the game I was really pleased.

“It was more a complete performance; we kicked well, we contained some pretty special outside backs, looked after Moimoi and their big guys.

“I think we probably shocked them a little bit.

“It was top class, up there in terms of our season and certainly a good end to our year at home.

“We’ve done what we said we were going to do, ruffled a few feathers and made things difficult for every team we’ve played.

“We’ll put our best team out for the last two games and go for it; the effort and the performance we put in today doesn’t deserve anything less than that.

“I’m not studying the table, I don’t know how it’s going to pan out.

“We’ve got two games left and we want to perform well and win them.

“If we do that, the table will sort itself out.”

After a couple of relatively modest performances, Fax looked like a side coming into form again, with back rower Dane Manning setting a magnificent lead.

“We had some really good individual performances today,” said Marshall.

“Dane was up against a former international in Gareth Hock and I thought he conducted himself extremely well.

“He carried the ball strongly, cleaned up any breaks they made and made a lot of tackles.

“James Saltonstall was good, Ben Kaye was good, Ben Heaton was good again; that was probably his best game in the Qualifiers.

“Heaton and Jake Eccleston worked a lot better together this week, the combination looked a lot better compared to the Salford game.”