No time to rest as Halifax’s James Woodburn-Hall looks to retain his spot

HALIFAX’S James Woodburn-Hall admits he will remember his crucial Challenge Cup cameo “forever” – but now has to work hard to keep his place in the side.

Halifax's James Woodburn-Hall is congratulated on his winning try. against Bradford Bulls on Sunday.
 Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Halifax's James Woodburn-Hall is congratulated on his winning try. against Bradford Bulls on Sunday. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The half-back came off the bench in the unfamiliar position of loose forward to create one try and then score the matchwinner during Sunday’s 20-16 quarter-final success at Bradford Bulls.

Woodburn-Hall had been farmed out by coach Simon Grix to League 1 Hunslet the previous week before returning to shine in front of the BBC cameras.

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Part-timers Halifax – who had not reached the semi-finals since 1988 – face Super League leaders St Helens next month for a place at Wembley.

STAR TURN: Halifax's James Woodburn-Hall

Woodburn-Hall, 24, said: “He (Grix) didn’t have to pick me but I had a good performance at Hunslet and he’s been honest from the start saying ‘if you play well you’ll get your chance.’

“I got my chance – albeit 20 minutes – but I made the most of it. I do know I have to be more consistent. I’m in a good place at the moment.

“I’ve obviously just started working recently – that’s new to me – and I’m just trying to balance that and the rugby.

“But it’s getting there and it’s just building on that consistency.

“What a game it was back and forth. I was heartbroken at one point, then buzzing and then I thought the game was over.”

However, Woodburn-Hall broke clear and dummied Bradford full-back Ethan Ryan for a brilliant solo try at the death.

He said: “It was right under the sticks as well and one of the best tries I’ve ever scored. I’ll remember that forever. It’ll be amazing to play Saints in the semi. What an experience that will be.”

Meanwhile, speculation was rife last night that relegation-threatened Hull KR are set to part ways with coach Tim Sheens.

Struggling Rovers were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Warrington Wolves on Friday.

Prop Mitch Garbutt will miss Sunday’s game against Wigan after receiving a one-game ban.

Warrington winger Tom Lineham has been suspended for three games for striking KR’s Jimmy Keinhorst and Wolves team-mate Jake Mamo has also received a one-match ban.