HALIFAX head coach Richard Marshall says he has learned plenty after ‘shadowing’ Castleford Tigers chief Daryl Powell.
Halifax head to Sheffield Eagles tomorrow looking to ruin the party of their Championship rivals who celebrate the 20th anniversary of their famous 1998 Challenge Cup final win over Wigan.
Marshall has been getting some tips recently having been by the side of Powell during Castleford’s recent Super League win over Wakefield Trinity.
“We have a decent relationship between the clubs and I’ve been down to a couple of training sessions before,” he explained.
“We thought it’d be good to come watch a game, too. I basically went along to observe and see how Daryl operates.
“In my eyes he’s one of the best – if not the best – coach around. He gets the best out of his group.
“With the Championship and Super League there’s some similarities but there’s some gulfs as well.
“Most teams tend to use the same plays and calls but it’s who does them the best.
“Cas do them very, very well although Daryl wasn’t happy last Friday even though they got the win.
“That’s good that that’s the case, though. It was good to see.
“I picked up a few things that I brought back to Halifax and as a coach that’s what you do: you’re always learning, reviewing and developing.”
Marshall, meanwhile, expects Sheffield to “try and do a job” on Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e when the prolific full-back heads back to his former club.
The Samoa international – who scored almost 200 tries in six seasons with Sheffield – recently joined Halifax from Championship leaders Toronto Wolfpack on a deal until the end of the season.
He impressed on debut against Dewsbury Rams but, as part of the deal, was not allowed to play when Fax lost 42-10 to the Canadian side in London last Saturday.
Marshall said: “He’ll come straight back in this week as will Dan Fleming who also wasn’t able to play against his old club Toronto.
“With Sheffield being his former club, QLT will just want to go there and play well.
“He did go really well in his only game so far against Dewsbury – he was fantastic that day – but Sheffield will probably try and do a job on him as they know all about his attacking threat.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him start to build some form for us, though, as we get into this middle part of the season.”
The defeat against Toronto was only Halifax’s first loss in five games. But Marshall insisted: “We’ll need to improve on that when we go to Sheffield.
“Our defence wasn’t up to standard – regardless of how good the opposition were – and we need to focus on that this Sunday while looking to put some nice attacking plays on as well.
“Sheffield have been a bit inconsistent these last few weeks but over the last couple of years since I’ve been here they’ve undone us a couple of times.”
Halifax have lost Brandon Douglas (elbow) but welcome back Ed Barber as well as Fleming and Laulu-Togaga’e and hope Steve Tyrer will pass his concussion protocols.