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Sheffield Eagles vs Halifax RLFC: Match Preview

4th May 2018, 16:56

Sheffield Eagles vs Halifax RLFC: Match Preview

By Jacob Kilbride

The Match

Halifax RLFC will be looking to bounce back from defeat when they travel to Sheffield Eagles at the Olympic Legacy Park.

Halifax suffered a 42-10 loss against Toronto Wolfpack at the New River Stadium in London last Saturday, ending their run of four consecutive victories in the Betfred Championship.

Meanwhile, opponents Sheffield have won three of their last five league matches to see them sit tenth in the table and just four points adrift of seventh-placed Batley. 

Form Guide

Fax were one of the form sides in the division prior to their defeat by Toronto last weekend with consecutive wins against Barrow, London, Swinton and Dewsbury.

Hosts Sheffield struggled in the opening couple of months and begun the season with seven straight defeats in all competitions.

However, three triumphs from their previous five matches have seen them move clear of the bottom two whilst the 38-16 win at Rochdale last week was their biggest win since August. 

Team News

Halifax welcome back Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e (QLT) and Dan Fleming to their 19-man squad after missing out on the trip to London against Toronto.

Also coming into the squad is forward Frazer Morris who earns his spot after a string of good performances with the Reserves in recent weeks.

Castleford loanee Brandon Douglas is out of action due to a knee injury, which is likely to rule him out for a few weeks, whilst Conor McGrath and James Green drop out of the squad.

Forwards Adam Tangata and Harry Kidd remain on the sidelines for Fax.

Head to Head

Halifax have had the better of the recent meetings between these two sides, winning three on the bounce against Sheffield.

Back in February, Fax earned their first victory of the season over the Eagles with former Salford loanee Dan Murray grabbing two tries in a 30-10 victory at the MBi Shay Stadium.

Last season, Richard Marshall’s side completed the double over Sheffield as James Saltonstall bagged a hat-trick in the 42-16 win the MBi Shay before a trip to Belle Vue produced a 54-0 rout for Fax with McGrath scoring three tries.

Familiar Faces

For the second time this years, QLT will take on his former club Sheffield, having enjoyed six successful seasons with the Eagles. The Samoan international scored 118 tries in 218 for the South Yorkshire club, including ten against Halifax since 2012.

Sheffield captain Matt James and half-back Simon Brown each played 11 times for Fax during their short stints whilst Eagles assistant coach Ged Corcoran played for the club between 1999 and 2004 during his playing career.

Halifax RLFC Squad: Ed Barber, Chester Butler, Jacob Fairbank, Dan Fleming, Shane Grady, Simon Grix, Ben Heaton, Ben Johnston, Sion Jones, Ben Kaye, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, Will Maher, Brandon Moore, Elliot Morris, Frazer Morris, Scott Murrell, James Saltonstall, Will Sharp, Steve Tyrer

What Richard Marshall says:

“It’s an important game for us but it will be for Sheffield as well. Obviously, we’re higher up in the league and have been doing pretty well (recently) but they’ve got some real threats and they’ll be trying to find some form as well.”

What Steve Tyrer says:

”There’s always that little bit of spice whenever we play Sheffield. We’re playing at their new ground, which we’ve never been to. We’ve got to go there and do a proper job.”