Underdog mentality at heart of Halifax’s scalp of Super League side London Broncos

Ben White: Was instrumental as a stand-in for Halifax's normal stand-off in their win over London. (Picture: SWPix.com)
Ben White: Was instrumental as a stand-in for Halifax's normal stand-off in their win over London. (Picture: SWPix.com)
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HALIFAX’S Ben White said a basic desire to “not mess up for our mates” underpinned their shock Coral Challenge Cup victory over London Broncos.

The part-timers, seventh in the Championship, stunned their Super League opponents with a 
24-16 fifth-round success at The Shay on Thursday night.

Few people saw the victory coming given Halifax’s inconsistencies this term and the fact they were also missing key players including captain Scott Murrell.

However, Richard Marshall’s youthful side built-up a 12-6 interval lead and, after London drew level, surged ahead with spectacular tries from Reece Chapman-Smith and Quentin Laulu-Togagae. White, who came in for Murrell at stand-off, said: “It was a really good result for us.

“We came into it as underdogs but rose to the occasion. Our middles were outstanding and our goalline defence was really good; we frustrated London quite a lot.

“What did it was just having that underdog mentality and confidence to think ‘not going to lose, not going to lose’.

“e came into it as underdogs but rose to the occasion.

Ben White

“That’s not just myself but right across the board.

“It showed tonight with that desire; no one wanted to be that person who messed up for his mate and we all turned up for each other which was good.

“The pressure wasn’t on us for once. We were able to express ourselves a bit more and even if we did make a mistake we weren’t down in the dumps about it.

“Our attitude when we made an error, we were high-fiving, slapping backs, things like that.

“It was a really good win to be part of it.”

Halifax’s goalline effort – a real concern at times this season – was superb as London applied the pressure and their resilience and determination helped secure thema spot in Monday’s last-16 draw.

White, who hails from Hounslow in London, had only been selected once since February but certainly made his mark.

“I think I went okay,” said White, who made a solitary Super League appearance for Leeds against London in 2014 and joined Fax from Swinton Lions in the off-season.

“Muzza (Murrell) has had a bit of a niggle and with the busy Easter period coming up I think Rich thought it was just time to give him a bit of a rest and try other things.

“I thought I went well but ultimately it’s Rich’s decision at the end of the week and I’m sure – not for myself but other players on that park today – he’ll have quite a selection headache now.

“He’ll be happy with that. That’s ultimately what he wants as a coach but at the end of the day I have to respect his decision whether I like it or not.

“I’ve just got to keep turning up each week and taking my chances. If I do that hopefully I’ll be in the squad for the following week.”

Lower-tier sides defeating Super League opponents in the Challenge Cup is rare but White has now done it twice.

The 24-year-old said: “We knocked Huddersfield out when I was at Swinton a couple of years ago. It is a really good feeling. You get bragging rights with your mates but we’ve got a big derby against Bradford Good Friday and, after the weekend off, we’ll be back in focusing on that.”