Marshall reflects on Qualifiers reverse against Toulouse

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall said he was “pretty disappointed” to be leaving Toulouse without a win after his side’s 28-6 Super 8s Qualifiers loss in the south of France.

Marshall’s side - the only part time team in the Qualifiers - needed a late score from prop Dan Fleming to avoid drawing a blank on the scoreboard for a second consecutive weekend after their 14-0 reverse against Toronto.

While Fax were in the game for long spells against the French side, their failure to convert pressure into points is an ongoing frustration for their boss.

“I’m pretty disappointed as a coach and we’re disappointed as a group; it was a similar story to the Toronto game,” said Marshall, who saw his side trail 16-0 at the break.

“We are still making the same mistakes, even with different personnel.

“We are trying really hard, and we are not far off, but we aren’t making the right decisions at key moments.

“We’ve spoken about there being much less margin for error at this stage of the season and we saw that again.

“There were some things defensively I wasn’t happy with - they went full length of one of our kicks with about 10 missed tackles, which is just amateurish - but there were chances to score and we didn’t take them.

“We’re getting into the right positions, but we need to improve what we do in ‘good ball’.

“We had a purple patch earlier in the year when everything seemed to click into place, but since then, even looking at the league games we won against Toulouse and Featherstone, we’ve not been taking enough of our chances.

“We did build plenty of pressure in the second half, but I thought Toulouse’s defence was outstanding.

“It’s not something they’re particularly noted for, but they got it right this weekend.”

And Marshall, whose side host Super League strugglers Widnes in two weeks time, conceded that, in the long term, further investment may be the only way to close the gap on teams with wage bills two, three or four times higher than the Shay outfit.

“I would like to say ‘no’ and that we had enough, but the reality may be different,” he said.

“It’s not something we speak about as a group, and we are improving over time, but there is a huge disparity in funding.

“If we can’t beat the Championship teams then it’s difficult to beat the Super League teams that are fighting for their lives.”

Fax are almost certain to be without goal kicking centre Steve Tyrer against Widnes after the former Vikings back suffered medial ligament damage.

Utility player Ed Barber is already out for the season with a similar injury sustained against Toronto.

“It’s no coincidence that we pick up these injuries at this time of year,” said Marshall.

“It’s the intensity of playing these full time teams back to back at this time of the year and we are going to have to change our selection again.

“We’ll assess Steve through the week, and hopefully it’s not as bad as Ed’s injury, but I can’t see him playing for a couple of weeks.”