Marshall: We wanted it more than Toulouse

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall was left to laud his side’s will to win after they came from behind to beat second-placed Toulouse at the Shay and move within a whisker of a place in the Super 8s Qualifiers.

Marshall’s part-timers triumphed 19-14 in a Shay thriller, with a Shane Grady try six minutes from time overturning a 14-13 deficit and leaving Fax needing one more win, against bottom-of-table Rochdale next Sunday, to seal a top four finish.

Fax had looked in control for long spells, but saw a 13-6 lead evaporate as the French side surged forward in the final quarter.

“We don’t do it easily, do we?,” joked Marshall, who is on the verge of delivering back to back Qualifiers football on a relatively modest budget.

“I’m not sure the game was off the best quality; I thought our skill level was down on where it needed to be at this time of year, but when we needed a try with six or seven minutes to go, Shane - who probably hadn’t had his best game - came up with the goods at the right time.

“Toulouse really gave it to us, as we knew they would.

“They need one more victory and they really wanted it today, but we wanted it more.

“It was down to the team spirit and the work ethic in the end.

“We spoke about that in the week, what makes this team different from some of the other teams around us.

“We need to understand what it is that we’ve got and how we can use it to influence games.

“We’ve got a team that work really hard; if someone makes a mistake, someone else is there to clean up for them.

“I think as long as you have that in your game, you’ll do okay and at the moment we have all of that and more.

“But what we’ve done this week is irrelevant unless we back it up against Rochdale.

“They’ll be coming to spoil it, to try and take the two points, and we can’t drop off.

“We’ve got plenty of evidence of us dropping off against those kind of teams at various points, but we can’t afford to do it next week because of what’s at stake.

“We’ve got a fantastic team, and I’m proud to be associated with them, but we need to keep our feet on the ground because we haven’t done anything yet.”

Marshall admitted he was concerned by aspects of his side’s defence, with Toulouse scoring both their tries from close range and almost scoring a third, only for hooker Ben Kaye - who provided an impressive foil for the dynamic Brandon Moore - to produce a miracle tackle.

“We had a couple of blips defensively, which was completely out of character,” said Marshall.

“That was probably the nerves, the tension and the occasion; some players made the wrong decisions.

“They weren’t lack of effort errors; we were probably over enthusiastic, overly keen.

“It’s not something that’s happened all season, just today because of what we were playing for.

“Ben didn’t enjoy his game last week in London; he told me he was going to improve this week and he did.

“He got us around the field in that first stint and stopped a certain try with that tackle on the goalline.

“Brandon really had a dig and I thought him and Simon were immense, especially in contact.

“If it had been any other game, Simon wouldn’t have played.

“He had an injection before the game and he came off early in the warm up, but he gave us the thumbs up that’d he’d be okay.

“He came off the bench and he really put his hand up for the team.”