Fax boss Marshall: We weren’t up to standard

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall offered a frank assessment of his side’s efforts after they were humiliated at Batley on Sunday, leaving them winless after two Championship rounds.

Fax lost 24-6 in a Mount Pleasant quagmire, with freezing rain and sleet lashing the famous old ground from beginning to end of a contest dominated by the home side.

Matt Diskin’s team, thrashed in Toulouse a week earlier, comprehensively dismantled their visitors in the forwards in a game they could have won by more.

“We weren’t up to the required standard, far from it,” said Marshall, whose side now desperately need to beat Sheffield at the Shay next Sunday (3.0).

“We were way below 50 per cent out there today.

“To make a logical, educated assessment I’ll need to watch it again, but I thought our performance was a bit surreal.

“I thought they completely out-enthused us and I’ve got to look at our preparation for that.

“I’ll look at what we did during the week - because I didn’t see that coming - and take responsibility for that, but the players have to take responsibility for their individual performances.

“Our pack weren’t good enough, they were on the back foot throughout the game, and our discipline is a problem and it is costing us games.

“We showed glimpses in that second half of how we should have played in the first; kicking early, putting them in parts of the field they didn’t want to be in, and chasing hard.

“You need to chase hard, get more bodies in there and make your own luck, which is what Batley did.

“Credit to them, they showed us how to play those conditions.”

Marshall’s cause was not helped by injuries, with back rower Shane Grady, who was in fine form in round one, joining a lengthening sick list when he pulled his calf in training.

With both his first choice hookers among the other absentees, Marshall fielded Salford youngster Matthew Wilkinson on dual registration, with the Red Devils’ number nine doing his best behind a beaten pack.

“We’re a few bodies down already; we lost Shane with a calf injury at the back end of the week, Jacob Fairbank and Connor Robinson during the game and both hookers and Ben Heaton were out as well,” said Marshall, who will also lose star forward Adam Tangata for the game against the Eagles after he accepted an early guilty plea and a one match ban for his part in the brawl that erupted in the closing stages of the round one loss to Featherstone.

“I thought young Matthew did well; he’s had two sessions with us and he’ll be good if we can give him something to play behind.

“We’ve a small squad though and we can’t afford to be losing players.

“We get Will Sharp back next weekend, but we lose Adam for a week.

“We’ve some stuff to fix up this week though, whether that’s personnel or the systems we use.”