Marshall: Fax must learn and improve for final fortnight

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall praised his side’s tenacity but was critical of their performance after they lost 20-18 in London on Sunday.

Victory over the Broncos would have given Fax one foot in the top four and all-but written the full time Broncos out of the script.

Instead, an unsuccessful final quarter comeback - that briefly slashed a 14-0 deficit to 14-12 going into the final 10 minutes - left Fax needing to win their final two home games, against high-flying Toulouse next Sunday and lowly Rochdale the week after, to grasp a top four finish and a place in the end of season Super 8s Qualifiers.

“A couple of weeks ago, we knew we needed three wins from our final four games and that’s not changed,” said Marshall.

“But I thought we dropped our levels today and we paid for that.

“It was a very hard game in very difficult conditions, and desire, effort, attitude, we ticked all those boxes.

“But our kicking game and our skill levels weren’t where they needed to be when you’re comparing them with full-time skill levels and our contact wasn’t great..

“There is no messing about now; we know we need to win the last two.

“That will have taken a lot out of us - the pitch, the weather, the travel, losing by two points - and we’ll need to try and freshen things up this week.

“We’ll learn from it though, in terms of how we manage games, and we’ll go again against Toulouse next week.”

Defeat was particularly cruel on Fax’s perennial matchwinner Scott Murrell, the architect of last weekend’s win over Featherstone, who spilled the kick off after Shane Grady’s try had left London reeling at 14-12.

“I thought they’d gone at that stage,” admitted Marshall, who omitted prop Dan Fleming in place of the more mobile Elliot Morris in the only change to the side that beat Rovers.

“But Scott’s won us plenty of games and it’s never about one player; we win as a team and lose as a team.

“Generally, we made too many individual errors today, but to come back from 14-0 down showed some character.

“At that point, in London, in that heat, I feared the worst.

“But we came within a whisker in the end.”

Marshall said he had a number of injury concerns, with hooker Ben Kaye, loose forward Simon Grix and back rower Chester Butler among them.