Marshall: Attacking work will pay dividends

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall has said close-season work on his side’s attacking game will “take time’ to bear fruit ahead of Sunday’s home opener against Sheffield Eagles (3.0).

Having struggled to put points on the board in pre-season, last weekend’s 20-4 loss at Featherstone - which yielded a solitary Ben Heaton try - means Fax have crossed the line five times in four games.

They were hampered at the weekend by the loss of half back Ben Johnston with a head injury, which means the playmaker is a ‘50/50’ chance to face the Eagles according to Marshall.

But even then, Marshall is optimistic Fax’s work in possession will be more fluent against Mark Aston’s side.

“We are creating things when we have the ball,” said Marshall.

“We were panicking at times on Sunday, but it becomes a vicious circle.

“We made over 400 tackles, which is the kind of statistic we’ve not seen for a while; that fatigues you, you make errors with the ball and end up defending even more.

“We have worked on our attacking structures over the winter, we’ve worked on our kicking game and we’ve put all those things in place, but it will take time to see the benefits of that.

“The 17 that played on Sunday had only trained together twice, so there’s no doubt they’ll be better for that game this weekend.

“Sheffield will fancy this; they had a tight game last week, they’ll have some players coming in from St Helens and they’re a bit of an unknown quantity in that sense.

“But we had an honest review this week, people took responsibility and the players know what they need to do on Sunday.”

Fax have added back rower Shane Grady to their squad after he recovered from close season surgery, as well as Salford prop Daniel Murray, who has joined the club on a month’s loan after impressing on dual registration last season.

Castleford back James Clare is also named, although Jy Hitchcox and Alex Foster, who both played for Fax last week, are expected to play Super League for the Tigers.