Gannon: ‘Haven is just the job for Fax

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VETERAN front rower Jim Gannon believes tonight’s long-haul trip to Whitehaven (7.30) is perfectly timed as Halifax aim to recover from last weekend’s loss in Toulouse.

Fax kicked off their Co-operative Championship title defence with a 26-12 loss in the south of France and head to Cumbria with their Northern Rail Cup campaign on the line.

Matt Calland’s side need at least a bonus point against David Seeds’ Championship One side - who need nothing less than a win to stay in the competition - to secure their place in the last eight.

And for Gannon, who has featured in the last two NRC finals for Widnes, kick off at the Recreation Ground cannot come soon enough.

“If you have a bad performance, you want to get out there and right the wrongs straight away and fortunately we’ve got an opportunity to do that tonight,” said the Australian prop.

“We’ve got to bounce back, it’s the only thing to do.

“Saturday was obviously disappointing, because we went there to take the three points and didn’t manage to do that.

“It’s not a disaster, because it’s such a long season, but we need to regroup now.

“The Northern Rail Cup is a big competition and it’s a massive game tonight.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to play in the last two finals with Widnes and it’s a good day out.

“It’s not an also-ran competition, we want to be there.”

Gannon, who came to England as a teenager to play for Fax in 1999 before going on to star for Huddersfield, Hull KR and the Vikings, also insisted that Saturday’s reverse could have turned out a lot differently.

“I still feel it could have gone either way early on,” said Gannon.

“We had a couple of chances to score early and didn’t manage to take them, they got a couple of tries and we didn’t respond in the way we needed to.

“After that, they had the upper hand.

“We’ve got a good enough squad to repeat the success the club had last year.

“But we need to roll up our sleeves and get some performances on the board.

“We also need to work on the negatives from that game, we can’t just stick our heads in the sand.”