Marshall: Reds too sharp out wide in Super 8s

Mitch Cahalane takes the ball forward
Mitch Cahalane takes the ball forward

Halifax coach Richard Marshall was left to lament his side’s failure to deal with the “key moments” that decided their Super 8s Qualifiers showdown with Salford at the Shay.

The Super League side ran out 50-28 winners, with wingers Greg Johnson and Ben Jones-Bishop and Halifax-based full back Niall Evalds all running in hat tricks.

Fax trailed 22-6 at the break, but closed the gap to 28-22 at one point before a 100 metre score from Jones-Bishop - after he fielded a kick on his own goalline - with around 20 minutes to go tipped the game decisively in the Reds’ favour.

“It’s moments in the game; you are on the front foot, attacking, put in a kick then the next moment you are behind your own posts having conceded,” said Marshall, who was without injured wingers Gareth Potts and Tommy Saxton and full back Ben Johnston.

“That happened two or three times in that game and that was probably the difference from our point of view.

“They had more pace than us and having lost two wingers and a full back this week it was difficult for us.

“We got found out on the edges; we were solid down the middle and our starting pack was very strong, but those key moments cost us.

“We spoke at half time about getting ourselves back into the game and at 28-22 that wasn’t a great moment for us.

“That and the Saltonstall kick that Evalds scored from were costly in the end.

“We might get away with those in the Championship, the wingers might not be as quick and we might have more cover there, but not at this level.”

Marshall called up former Siddal junior Joe Martin for only his second appearance - 12 months after his first - with the 20 year old a largely solid presence at full back.

“Joe came in at full back and I thought he did pretty well,” said Marshall, who had plenty of praise for Cook Islands forward Adam Tangata, the home side’s stand-out player with barnstorming effort at prop.

“It’s a privileged position in the game, but it’s also very difficult to play and I was quite pleased with his performance, especially when you consider he’s not had much time on the field.

“I would have liked to have brought him into the team more gradually, but I think he’s a player who can be good for us in the future.

“Adam got two handshakes after the game; I thought he deserved them because he was great.

“He wasn’t in the side at the start of the year and it took him a few months to catch up, but once he did that he’s really started showing the potential he’s got.

“I’m pleased for him because there were times early on when he might have been tempted to go home.

“But he’s not looked back and he’s part of a very strong pack now.”