AFTER successive defeats the competition is about to get even tougher for Halifax’s part-timers – and coach Richard Marshall cannot wait.
Halifax were beaten 14-0 at home by Toronto Wolfpack in their opening Qualifiers fixture and lost 28-6 at another of their Championship rivals, Toulouse Olympique, in round two.
This year is Halifax’s third in the Qualifiers and they have yet to get the better of Super League opposition. Three of their final five games are against teams from the top flight, beginning at home to Salford Red Devils tomorrow, but Marshall insisted he and his players are excited rather than daunted.
“They are all tough for a team like ourselves,” he admitted. “Our players have been in work all week.
“Salford are probably the form team in this competition, they have picked up some very good wins and they’ll be looking at beating lowly Halifax.
“It is top versus bottom, more or less, but we are looking forward to all the Super League teams we are playing.
“Salford, Hull KR, Leeds and Widnes are all fighting for their life. For us it is about competing and enjoying it.”
Salford have won three successive games since the late-season signing of Australian half-back Jackson Hastings.
They will be firm favourites tomorrow, but Marshall insisted Halifax’s game plan is not based on damage limitation.
“We want to win this game and we’ll be doing everything in our power to do that,” he stressed.
“Physically we won’t be able to match them and skill-wise they are a full-time team with quality players all over, but we will do our best.
“We have been really good at home. We’ve only lost twice at home all year and we want to make it a really tough day for Salford.”
The clubs have close links with several Salford players having had spells on loan at Halifax.
Marshall added: “We know quite a bit about their strengths and I am sure they are looking forward to it. It’s a great stadium, great facilities and the pitch is magnificent. I think it will be a fantastic game.”