Halifax v Catalans: Aiming to slay the Dragons

Out for an upset: Richard Marshall.
Out for an upset: Richard Marshall.
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UPBEAT coach Richard Marshall believes Halifax can pass their French test in the Qualifiers tomorrow.

Visitors Catalans Dragons are fighting for their Super League lives and Marshall knows the odds are stacked against his team, but he is confident they will give a good account of themselves.

“We’re a part-time Championship team playing against a very talented Catalans side,” pointed out Marshall.

“They’ve got some world-class players – Greg Bird is in fantastic form – and they have an excellent coach in Steve McNamara.

“The reality is that we probably need to have 17 players at 95 per cent of their form and hope they probably only have four or five players at that level.”

He added: “We’re confident in what we can do defensively, but we need to cut out the errors and penalties, because that was what got us at Warrington, making 400 tackles against a full-time team.

“We think we’ve seen some things in their game we can exploit, but the question is whether we can execute our plays under pressure.

“We’ve trained well, though, so we’ll see.”

Marshall at least has a virtually full-strength squad to choose from, with only young centre James Woodburn-Hall – who damaged an ankle against Warrington a fortnight ago – ruled out.

That means Marshall will add three-quarter Ben Heaton and key pack men Adam Tangata and Mitch Cahalane to the mix that went down fighting against the Wolves, along with young Castleford forward Brandon Douglas.

With full-back Will Sharp available after suspension, Marshall has a welcome selection dilemma.

“We’re good, he said. “We have some options again and there are going to be some disappointed players this weekend.”