Marshall: Mudbath win a good day for Fax

Ben Heaton and Scott Murrell get to work in defence. Picture courtesy of Cumbrian Newspapers
Ben Heaton and Scott Murrell get to work in defence. Picture courtesy of Cumbrian Newspapers

Richard Marshall watched his Halifax side make it two wins from three at Workington on Sunday in conditions the coach labelled as ‘bad as anything’ he had experienced.

Fax triumphed 20-0 on a saturated Derwent Park pitch that had been passed playable at 8am, but looked borderline at best as the 3pm kick off time approached.

The visitors never really looked in danger on the field, with two tries in each half and some hard-hitting defence going some to way to erasing last week’s loss at Sheffield.

“You can probably question the conditions and the state of the field,” admitted Marshall afterwards.

“I can’t remember seeing anything as bad as that, certainly since I’ve been a coach and maybe as a player as well.

“But we wanted to play and they wanted to play.

“The safety of the players is paramount and we were happy it was safe.

“We knew we’d wreck the field, but we’ve come away without any injuries and while it wasn’t a pretty win, it’s an important one.

“We wanted to stick to the plan we had, but in those conditions we knew we had to rein it in at times, and I thought we managed the game better in that second half.

“It was a good day in the sense that the errors we fell down on at Sheffield, we put right.

“Fixing those mistakes week to week is probably as important as the win in some ways.

“Nilling a team at any level is a good accolade and we scored some nice tries, especially with those short side plays.

“We got stronger as the game went on and our line speed got faster.

“The crowd were on the referee’s back a bit, but we weren’t offside.

“We’re a fit team and we get forward and work hard; I was really pleased that aspect.”

Marshall, whose side didn’t make it back to West Yorkshire until the early hours of Monday after the M6 was closed due to a major accident, now host in-form Batley at the Shay next Sunday (3.0).

And Marshall will need to decide whether to stick with the changes he made in Cumbria, which saw Ben Heaton and Jake Eccleston move into the backline and Will Sharp start at full back in place of Ben Johnston.

“I thought Jake did well,” said Marshall.

“When you come in you need to take your opportunities.

“He hung around, tried to get involved and get some work done; I thought it was a message to his teammates that ‘I’m good enough to play in this team’.

“I thought James Saltonstall was good on the other side on a day when the field didn’t suit any of our outside backs.

“Johnno didn’t have his best game last week and we wanted to have a look at something a little bit different with Will at full back.”