Challenge for Halifax to maintain standard

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HALIFAX coach Richard Marshall has hailed a “great” week for the West Yorkshire club.

They head to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats tonight still high from Sunday’s thrilling 34-12 win over Championship leaders Leigh Centurions, their first success of the Qualifiers.

Furthermore, Marshall was then named Championship Coach of the Year at a dinner in Manchester, beating challenges from Leigh’s Paul Rowley and Whitehaven’s James Coyle.

Another win would actually put the unfancied part-timers in the frame for the ‘Million-Pound Game’ between the sides that finish fourth and fifth and a chance of promotion to Super League.

More realistically, with their final game due at Bradford next Sunday, it would give them a very real chance of claiming the £750,000-plus that goes to the sixth-placed side.

“It’s been a great week for the club; there’s no pressure on us now, no expectations, we’re going to Wakefield to enjoy ourselves,” said Marshall, who has been a revelation in his first year at The Shay, having left his role as Warrington Wolves assistant.

“We’re coming off a great win against Leigh and we probably raised the bar in that game to a new level; the challenge for us this week is to play to that standard again.

“The Coach of the Year award was pleasing, but it’s a recognition of the work the players and the club have done this year as much as anything I have done.

“The players are the ones that have put the performances in, I just prepare them each week.

“The club have been fantastic, they gave me an opportunity to coach here and they’ve let me just get on with it, which I’m grateful for.

“It’s been a good year and we’ve probably achieved 90 per cent of what we wanted to do, so far.

“Maybe there’s more to come, maybe there’s not, but I think a year ago – leaving Warrington and taking my first head coach’s job – I’d have been very pleased with where we are now.”