Marshall warns of ‘carefree’ Dons ahead of crunch showdown

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Coach Richard Marshall has warned his players to be prepared for a “carefree” Doncaster outfit as Halifax look to take a giant step closer a top four Championship finish at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday (2.0).

A Fax victory, which would be their eighth on the bounce, could see them clinch a place in the so-called ‘middle eight’, alongside the four bottom Super League sides, ahead of the final game of the regular season against Bradford next weekend.

But Marshall is conscious his troops need to focus on getting past Gary Thornton’s Dons, who are fresh from their first victory of the season against Hunslet last weekend.

“We certainly can’t afford to relax; Doncaster will have their tails up,” said Marshall, who confirmed that Fax had blocked their former half back Paul Mennell - released to the South Yorkshire club after ‘retiring’ before Christmas - from playing in the game.

“They’re quite a carefree kind of team, they don’t play an orthodox game or do what you might expect them to; they’re quite unconventional which makes them hard to defend against.

“They’ve got some decent players and they rang me up and asked me whether Paul could play, but I politely declined.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position as far as the league table is concerned, but that’s not pressure; the only pressure is the pressure to improve on the way we played against Batley last weekend.”

Marshall is waiting on the fitness of centre Ben Heaton, who has a deadleg, but could include Gareth Potts, Ryan Maneely, Andy Bracek and French loanee Clement Boyer.

Marshall has also taken Huddersfield’s England Academy forward Mikey Wood on loan, although the back rower, who swaps places with his Giants and England teammate Tyler Dickinson, who has returned to Kirklees, will not figure at Doncaster.

“Tyler has gone back there raving about his time in our environment and Mikey wants to experience that,” said Marshall.

“He’s a big, rangy kid and he’ll get a chance to try and force his way into the team over the next few weeks.”