Richard Marshall 'felt better after losses' following Halifax's close-fought win over Batley Bulldogs

Halifax head coach Richard Marshall. PIC: Simon Hall.
Halifax head coach Richard Marshall. PIC: Simon Hall.

Richard Marshall insists that he has "felt better when we have lost" after Halifax almost surrendered an 18-point lead against Batley Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon.

Marshall's side had led 18-0 at the interval before a second-half fightback saw the Bulldogs push Halifax right until the final hooter.

A Steve Tyrer penalty proved decisive as Batley scored three converted tries in the second half.

Tyrer's two-pointer handed victory to the home side but Marshall wants to see improvement ahead of their trip to Featherstone on Sunday.

"I think I have felt better when we have lost, in terms of performance," admitted Marshall.

"I just didn't think we applied ourselves for the full 80 minutes and we have not done that over the last few weeks.

Steve Tyrer scored his 100th Halifax try against Batley Bulldogs. PIC: Simon Hall.

Steve Tyrer scored his 100th Halifax try against Batley Bulldogs. PIC: Simon Hall.

"I thought we started like a house on fire.

"Our start was exceptional. We looked clinical with the ball, I thought our defence was good and we limited their field position.

"Batley are a good team when they get down there and we found that out in the second half.

"When you play Batley you are always in a contest, you have got to compete for everything.

Marshall reserved some special praise for winger Will Sharp. PIC: Simon Hall.

Marshall reserved some special praise for winger Will Sharp. PIC: Simon Hall.

"I just don't think we competed for the full 80 minutes, so there is a bit of work to do there.

"We won, and we needed to win. But we need to be quite a lot better than that, going forward."

The Halifax boss was unhappy with his side's completion rate but felt that they were on the end of some tough calls.

He continued: "We were at 57 per cent completion rate, even in the first half and we were 18 points up.

"We did a lot of work defensively in the first half and that came and bit us on the backside in the second half.

"They unpicked our edge defence, again and I think we lost the penalty count, again.

"I did think we had some very tough calls.

"We do try to play at a really high level and play the ball as quick as we can and find some good body positions in contact.

"And I don't think we got what we deserved from the referee in that area."

Tyrer's tally of 12 points proved crucial as the centre kicked four goals from four attempts and grabbed his 100th Halifax try.

And Marshall insisted that it took "guts" for the 29-year-old to land the decisive penalty.

"It is a pressure kick for Steve Tyrer, it took some guts to get that one over," Marshall added.

"But overall the last three to four weeks he has been really good for us. And he proved his worth.

"On the whole the it is a just above average performance for us."

The Halifax boss did not want to take anything away from Batley and hailed the Bulldogs spirit to get back into the contest.

Batley dominated the second period with opposition coach Matt Diskin insisting that his side were "desperately unlucky" to come away empty handed.

Marshall also reserved special praise for Will Sharp, who, in the Halifax chief's opinion, played a crucial role in securing Halifax's second-straight win.

He concluded: "We have barely mentioned Batley yet - they were very good.

"They took us right to the point that without Steve Tyrer kicking that goal, without Will Sharp being on the field for 80 minutes and being absolutely outstanding, I dare say we would have lost that game.

"He took two very good catches, when he was under soo much pressure.

"He did his job, he was fantastic. He is a wonderful player and we are fortunate and the other 16 players probably owe him a little bit of their winning money from today."