Halifax coach Richard Marshall will patch up his players for one last time in 2017 when they host Featherstone in the Super 8s Qualifiers at the Shay tomorrow.
If Fax win this weekend, they will leapfrog Rovers into seventh spot, sparing themselves the ignominy of finishing bottom of the pile, securing an extra £50,000 in prize money and the unofficial title of the best part-time team in rugby league.
“It’s a £50K game, a one off; like a Cup game or a Grand Final,” said Marshall, who has fitness doubts over a clutch of key players.
“Look, if we do not win we’ve still had a great season, making the top four in adversity and getting ourselves into the Qualifiers in the first place.
“But personally I’m not going to be happy if we finish eighth; I don’t think the players deserve that after all they’ve done this year.
“We’ve got people who will be playing their last game for the club on Sunday – definitely Mitch Cahalane, maybe a couple more as well – and we want to send them out on a high.
“To be the best part-time team is a label we’d like and we’ve not really done a good job on Featherstone at home in the last few years, so we’d like to change that.”
The last time the sides met, Fax produced a remarkable performance to win 28-8 at Post Office Road, dragging themselves closer to a top four spot and signalling the end of Rovers’ coach Jon Sharp, who was replaced by the former Swinton boss John Duffy the next day.
“If we can come anywhere near that level again, I’ll be very confident,” said Marshall.
“They’re playing a bit straighter now than they were, but they’re not doing those big shifts across the field like Swinton were doing under John; it takes time to put those things in place.
Fax pair Simon Grix and Scott Murrell return from injury.