Marshall planning ahead after seeing Fax blitz Bulls

James Saltonstall had a fine game at full back
James Saltonstall had a fine game at full back

Halifax closed in on a lucrative sixth-placed finish in the Super 8s Qualifiers after hammering Bradford 52-18 at Odsal.

Richard Marshall’s side ran in six tries in a final quarter blitz against the Bulls, who will face Wakefield in the so-called Million Pound Game next weekend, to put themselves in pole position to claim the £780,000 in central funding that goes to the sixth-placed side.

Rivals Leigh now need to win at Widnes on Sunday afternoon by more than 18 points to deny Marshall’s part-timers the funding jackpot.

“The main benefit, potentially, is the funding,” said Marshall, who saw half backs Ben Johnston and Scott Murrell rip the Bulls defence to shreds behind a dominant pack.

“If that happens, it’s significant for a club like ours, which probably isn’t in the same financial league as Bradford or Leigh at the moment.

“Regardless of that, I thought it was an outstanding achievement by the team to finish the season on that note.

“Bradford had a few missing, but you play what’s there and I think a few teams would have struggled to hold the boys today; some of the tries they scored were superb.

“For us not to concede in that second half, against a full time team, was very good.

“We pushed on after the break and looked fit, strong and skilful.

“We defended our line a lot better and our discipline was better; when you put all those things together, it’s a simple equation.”

If Fax do come away with the cash though, Marshall confirmed it will largely be spent off the field as the club look to construct a business - as well as a team - capable of challenging for a Super League place.

“If we are fortunate enough to finish sixth, or if we finish seventh or eighth, we will use that money wisely,” said Marshall.

“We are trying to build and be sustainable; we won’t be going full time just yet.

“The make up of the team won’t change that much; we will add some quality, and we are already some way down the line with that, but there won’t be wholesale changes.

“It’s about building for the future and getting the off field set up right.

“We can’t get carried away; we’re in the Championship next year and the challenges will be different, we just want to be very, very competitive again.

“We want players who can add quality and add value to the squad.

“Apart from that, from a coaching perspective, it’s about making gains everywhere.

“We had a budget for dietary supplements this year, next year we will probably spend a bit more there.

“We’ll buy some more gym equipment, the training facilities will improve again, there is plenty to go at.

“It won’t be buying players from Australia, that’s not how we’re going to build.

“We’re going to do things slightly differently and hopefully take that next step over the next couple of years.”