Halifax centre Steve Tyrer has said he believes reaching the Million Pound Game that will climax the Super 8s Qualifiers is a realistic target for Richard Marshall’s side.
Fax’s part-timers have narrowly lost both their opening fixtures - against the best-placed Super League sides, Widnes and Hull KR - but still sit sixth, ahead of Leigh and Sheffield on points difference.
They face the Eagles at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday (4.15) in a fixture that will be pivotal to their final placing after a weekend when the other Championship teams - the Eagles, Bradford and Leigh - all slumped to heavy losses.
But while boss Marshall has declined to set his team any targets, in public at least, Tyrer reckons the fourth-versus-fifth play off, which will decide which team claims the final Super League place for 2016, is a prize potentially within reach.
“We need to prepare next week and turn up at Sheffield with the same mindset we took in against KR and Widnes,” said Tyrer, who scored one try and set up another for Dane Manning in East Yorkshire.
“There’s confidence within this group of players that we can make that Million Pound Game, that’s the aim.
“It’s something we’ve talked about, we think we’re good enough and we want to prove some people wrong.
“The other Championship teams got smashed at the weekend and we didn’t; we’re in good shape.
“That Million Pound game is definitely something we can aim for; I personally think that’s within our reach.”
Fax’s major failing in the opening fortnight of the Qualifiers has been their error count in possession, particularly in their own territory.
Marshall defended his side’s attacking ambition after their loss at New Craven Park, and Tyrer believes it is a flaw that will resolve itself as they become accustomed to playing under pressure.
“Against the Super League teams, the time you get with the ball before the line is a lot less than you get in the Championship, and that’s probably catching us off guard a little bit,” he said.
“You don’t have the same time to make a decision and I think our brains are probably letting us down a little at the moment.
“We need to sharpen up that and clear up a few other bits and then we’re in.
“But we’ve competed really well these last two weeks; we’ve played probably the two best teams and we’ve been in both games.
“The issue is not fitness and I don’t think it’s the players we have, we just need to learn how to play in these games and smarten up a bit more.
“We’ve got a good coaching staff here, we get good information, good previews and good reviews, so we know what these sides are throwing at us.
“We just need to execute a bit better.
“But Hull KR are undoubtedly a good side and we gave them some problems, which gives us something to build on for next week.”