French trip offers good chance for a Halifax victory

Richard Marshall
Richard Marshall
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HALIFAX coach Richard Marshall is learning all the time about the Qualifiers which is why he knows just how clinical his side must be in France today.

They face Championship rivals Toulouse Olympic, a fixture which acts as arguably their best chance of a victory in the Middle Eights with four Super League opponents still to come.

The West Yorkshire club pushed promotion-chasing Toronto Wolfpack hard last Sunday before falling 14-0.

“What got us to this point won’t necessarily get us the results we want now we’re here,” said Marshall, whose side came fourth in the second-tier.

“We had a comprehensive review on Tuesday night and looked at what we need to do and how we need to do it, some of the real intricacies of the game.

“My experience of these Eights is that you need to do more work on the opposition; you have less margin for error and while the weaknesses are there, they are harder to spot and exploit.

“I do want to try and put some pace and freshness back into our game this week; we do need to ask more questions in attack.”

The likely return of Simon Grix should aid that while Halifax do have the experience of beating Toulouse 19-14 only last month at The Shay.

“Toulouse play their own field very well; it’s a big pitch and they’re good at exposing teams just by shifting the ball,” added Marshall.

“We know their threats – their offloads, Mark Kheirallah at full-back, Johnathon Ford’s kicking game – and they know ours.

“They were very good at Leeds last week. At 20-16 with 60 minutes on the clock they were in the game, so that tells us they’re playing well.

“We’ve beaten them this season and they’ve beaten us. I don’t think there will be much in it this week; it’s a 50/50 call.”

Former Castleford prop Dan Fleming, ineligible to play against Toronto under the terms of his transfer agreement, returns.

Ed Barber (knee) is out , though, so utility back James Woodburn-Hall, on-loan St Helens back-row Liam Cooper and fit-again Castleford loanee Brandon Douglas are hoping for a call-up.