Widnes in hall of shame, now Fax must show fight

THERE are some Halifax games that stick in the memory for all the wrong reasons.

A 60-point hiding at St Helens in 2002, the game that cost the then coach Steve Linnane his job; that 88-6 trouncing at Hull KR in 2006 that terminally undermined the position of boss Anthony Farrell; and, of course, pretty much all of the 2003 season.

Not just losses, not just big scores against, but performances so lacking in pride, character and competence they merited a place in the hall of shame.

It is a measure of the Fax’s relative success over the last five years that there have not been any days as terrible as those.

Until Thursday night.

Loss of form is one thing - and Fax have endured five-game losing streaks in each of the two years that culminated with Grand Final appearances - but that 47-36 defeat at Widnes was of a different magnitude.

Danny Hulme’s nine-minute hat-trick at the start of the game set the tone for an abysmal evening when Fax’s defence, especially in the middle of the field, simply vanished.

Matt Calland and his players now face Dewsbury this afternoon knowing that only a win will do.

Long term, Calland faces a massive technical challenge trying to correct the myriad of flaws Fax showed at Widnes.

But what he must do immediately is instill some enthusiasm and aggression.

Because the Rams, for all their lack of star quality, have both those things in abundance.