Marshall: Fax well aware of the danger posed by Whitehaven

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Coach Richard Marshall says his side are well aware of the nature of the test awaiting them in Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie at Whitehaven (3.0).

Fax head to the Recreation Ground for a fifth round tie that will be screened live on the BBC Sport website on the back of four straight Championship wins.

And having barely escaped with a 12-12 draw - courtesy of a late try from half back Gareth Moore - at the same venue last summer, Marshall is taking nothing for granted, despite Haven tumbling to relegation to League 1.

“We know what to expect from Whitehaven,” said Marshall.

“I watched their derby against Workington last week and they’re a pretty similar side to last season.

“Despite getting relegated they’ve been pretty stable, with quite a small turnover of players, maybe four or five.

“They’ll be up for this one and they’ll be direct and physical; it’s a big game for them and there are lessons to be learnt from what happened to us up there last year.

“But there’s a different vibe about our team this season, so I’m not expecting a repeat of that game.

“The Cup is a priority for us, in terms of the goals we have set ourselves as a team and because of the benefits it could bring to the club, on and off the field.

“It’s going to be a hard game, but it’s one we’re looking forward to.”

Fax’s team will have a different look after completing an Easter double of wins over Bradford and Oldham to reinforce their status as top four contenders.

Key back rower Simon Grix is already ruled out, while Marshall has doubts over in-form forwards Jacob Fairbank (knee), Shane Grady and Adam Tangata as well as full back Will Sharp, who all have ankle issues.

Marshall rated Sharp and Fairbank as the least likely to play, with fit-again utility back Connor Robinson training in the number one spot this week.

“I think Jacob and Will are the most doubtful, but I’m hopeful the others will come through,” he said.

“I wouldn’t want to go up there without all of them, because they’re influential players.

“We’ll train with Connor at full back, but we’ve also got James Woodburn-Hall and Ben Johnston who could play there.”