Halifax coach Richard Marshall saw a familiar scenario unfold in west London on Saturday night as his side lost 23-16 to London Broncos in their final Super 8s Qualifiers outing.
Fax led 12-0 and then 16-12 midway through the second half, before Danny Ward’s side - inspired by the maverick Australian half back Jarrod Sammut - edged home to confirm their place in next weekend’s Million Pound Game and leave Fax win-less for a second successive Qualifiers campaign.
“It’s the same story as the last few weeks,” said Marshall, who lost full back James Woodburn-Hall with a knee injury early in the second half and then saw Brandon Moore sin binned in the closing stages.
“There was loads of effort, bags of enthusiasm but we lacked the killer punch that would have won the game for us.
“We lost James and Brandon and in the end the young team that we had out there broke under the pressure, which is what happens.
“London have momentum at the moment and we don’t, and that played a part too.
“We got our noses in front a couple of times and I felt that if we’d scored after half time it might have been a different story.
“It wasn’t to be though.”
A plus for Fax was a bright debut from young Welsh hooker Curtis Davies, whose twin Connor broke into the side earlier this month, but there was plenty of food for thought for Marshall as the transfer season starts to hot up.
Fax announced on Friday night that Moore had signed a new one year deal, with the majority of his teammates expected to remain with the club.
Doubts surround the future of utility back Ben Heaton - perhaps ironically one of their best on Saturday night - and Cook Islander Adam Tangata, who has been linked with several clubs, notably League 1 Newcastle and relegated Widnes.
Marshall’s goal is to sharpen his side’s ability to score points by adding to his options in key attacking positions, although how that will be achieved is less clear given the club’s relatively modest budget.
“The players will be in on Tuesday night and then we will sit down and assess what we need,” he said.