Fax’s Marshall wants more intent as club prepares for top four push

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall wants to see a more ruthless team emerge over the next 10 days as the club aim to move into a top four Championship spot.

Fax host win-less Dewsbury Rams at the Shay on Sunday (3.0), before playing Bradford - who remain bottom of the ladder courtesy of their points deduction, despite a 50/50 record after eight games - and ninth-placed Oldham over Easter.

And with last weekend’s 38-28 success over Swinton elevating Fax to fifth, just two points off fourth-placed London, the door is open for Marshall’s side to force their way into contention for the Super 8s Qualifiers.

“There’s an opportunity there, not just over Easter but probably the next three or four weeks,” said Marshall.

“I’m reasonably happy with where we’re at, but there are things we need to do better.

“We certainly need to be more ruthless, with the opposition and with ourselves at times; that’s what the good teams do.

“Generally, I want us to be ruthless and more demanding of each other.

“That’s not just on game day, but in practice and off the field as well.

“Dewsbury haven’t shown up too well on the league table so far, but they’ve got some talented players and they’re more than capable of hurting us if we let them.

“We’re not too far off though; there’s a couple of things we need to tidy up defensively and I’d like us to be a bit more clinical, but some of the things that were hurting us earlier in the year - especially our discipline - have certainly improved.

“There were some unsavoury incidents in that game on Sunday and we kept our cool pretty well and didn’t get drawn in.

“The challenge on Scott Murrell was three seconds late with his back turned, which is just cheap.

“If that was my team and I was reviewing that game, I’d be telling them to cut all that stuff out.”

That ‘cheap’ tackle on Murrell, perpetrated by back rower Connor Dwyer, could yet lead to the Fax skipper, who was replaced in the second half, missing the game against the Rams.

Marshall also reported a doubt over in-form back rower Simon Grix, although he was understandably keen not to be without both players for a game his team can ill-afford to lose.

The flip side is the expected availability of centre Ben Heaton and hooker Brandon Moore after significant lay offs, while half back Gareth Moore and centre James Woodburn-Hall should also be in the mix.