Marshall: Hunslet win a step forward for Fax

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Coach Richard Marshall believes his Halifax side took a step forward on their second pre-season outing against Hunslet on Saturday.

A youthful Fax line up toiled against their League 1 opponents before the break at Post Office Road but were significantly improved in the second half and clinched a 32-24 win with late tries from wingers James Saltonstall and Shaun Robinson.

“It was an improvement in some areas,” said Marshall.

“We finished strongly, the second half was certainly better; the personnel were the same, but the attitude was different.

“It was a tough game, they were flying in to the tackles, lots of hands on the ball, it was a bit of an old school afternoon.

“That’s the way it was though and we had to rise above it.

“They’ve some ex-Halifax players in there and it got a bit tasty at times.

“It wasn’t a great start, but we asked the players to keep them scoreless in that second half and they managed to do that.

“I’ll be honest though, we shouldn’t be conceding that many points. Period.

“There’s still a lot to do.”

Fax gave a belated debut to half back Ben White, with the former Swinton player scoring a try - after a break from Saltonstall - in a bow that was solid rather than spectacular.

But it was young hooker Brandon Moore who really stood out, with Saltonstall, Robinson and the versatile James Woodburn-Hall not far behind.

“We’ve not had a settled half back combination yet and it might be different again next week against Featherstone, but I thought Ben showed some nice touches,” said Marshall.

“It’s all a bit ad lib still; he’s got to get used to knowing where his full back is going to be, the lines his centres are running, and he’s not going to get that in one game.

“I liked the options he gave us though, there’s something to work with.

“Brandon captained the team and we’re a better side with him on the field; he’s quick and we play quicker as a team when he’s there.

“James Woodburn-Hall is a quality player and he had an impact in both halves, Saltonstall was very lively and he’s just a pain in the backside for the opposition.

“Robinson has been good as well and that’s the area where we really have some tough decisions to make and I wish we had a few more of them.

“On that first half performance, the 11 senior players who didn’t play would be coming straight back in; there was no one really there who stood up and said ‘I’m here as well’ to the coaching staff.”