Murrell inspires Fax as top four push gathers pace

editorial image

Halifax hauled themselves level on points with third-placed Toulouse with a Scott Murrell-inspired 36-18 win at Dewsbury on Sunday.

Richard Marshall’s side now sit fifth on the Championship ladder, but they joined London and Toulouse on 18 points after the French side slipped up at Swinton.

Featherstone, who Fax face in Thursday night’s televised Challenge Cup game at Post Office Road (8.0), are a further two points clear.

“It was a frustrating performance,” said Marshall, who was without centre James Woodburn-Hall through illness and lost hooker Ben Kaye in the opening minutes with a groin injury.

“We had enough to get through, but we lacked some energy.

“It was important that we won, but there were some blips there that we are not too pleased about.

“Penalties when we had the ball in our hands, a couple of offloads that didn’t stick, forward passes.

“I thought our discipline was shocking in that first half and we spoke about that at half time.

“If you give a penalty away on a field that small, they’re on your goal line and we did that seven times before half time.

“But we have to come to places like this and earn the right to win and we did that.

“We’ve got the Cup on Thursday now and then a few days off before the Rochdale game.”

Marshall pinpointed two major factors in his side’s revival; the sin binning of centre Ben Heaton just before the break and Murrell’s move from half back to hooker after the interval.

“We went down to 12 men and we really rolled up our sleeves at that point,” he said.

“Mentally it was probably good for us and we got the backs-against-the-wall spirit which I like, scored a couple of quick tries and took the game away from them.

“We pulled away then, but gave away a couple of soft tries away at the end.

“I’m not sure there was anything wrong with Ben’s tackle, but we’ll see when we’ve reviewed it.

“I thought Scott changed the game, he really had a big influence on that second half.

“The original plan was not to use him as much at all with one eye on Thursday, but obviously we lost Ben Kaye so we had to adapt.

“We had a couple of options and that was the second one, but he certainly made an impact.

“I can’t say he won us the game, but he did a good job for us.

“We needed to see what could work in terms of Thursday and I think we did that.

“Both Ben (Johnston) and Connor (Robinson) probably played better with Scott at hooker, it probably frees them up a bit to play their games.”