By Stephen Ibbetson
Halifax RLFC return to the MBi Shay Stadium this Sunday to face fierce rivals Featherstone Rovers in a game of huge importance for both sides.
Both picked up wins last weekend to remain in the top four, with Fev in third place, one point ahead of Fax.
With London Broncos just a point further behind and Leigh Centurions on their tails as well, this could be a crucial clash in the race for a Qualifiers spot.
Halifax continued their good run of form last weekend with a 48-22 victory at Barrow Raiders, taking them to five wins in their last six matches.
They remain unbeaten at home in the Betfred Championship since the visit of Toronto Wolfpack back in February, which bodes well for the run-in with three home fixtures in the final four games.
Meanwhile, Featherstone enjoyed a resounding 80-4 win over Rochdale Hornets last week for their fourth consecutive win, and have scored 40 points or more in each of those matches.
Head to Head
This is the third time that the sides have met this season, and they are tied at one apiece after Fev’s 20-4 home win on the opening day of the season was followed by a thrilling 24-18 victory for Fax at the Summer Bash.
Rovers have won on their last nine visits to the MBi Shay in a run that stretches back to 2009. Overall the sides have been even in recent times though, with each claiming five wins over the last ten meetings in all competitions.
Richard Marshall has all but a full-strength Fax side to choose from, with Ben Heaton coming back into the squad in the only change from the team that won last weekend at Barrow.
Featherstone Rovers coach John Duffy welcomes Gareth Hock back from a one-match suspension, while Luke Briscoe also returns after appearing for Leeds Rhinos last week.
Halifax RLFC Squad: Will Sharp, Ben Heaton, Steve Tyrer, Ed Barber, James Saltonstall, Scott Murrell, Ben Johnston, Elliot Morris, Ben Kaye, Adam Tangata, Shane Grady, Simon Grix, Jacob Fairbank, Brandon Moore, James Woodburn-Hall, Will Maher, Chester Butler, Kieren Moss, Dan Fleming.
Featherstone Rovers Squad: Ian Hardman, Shaun Robinson, Misi Taulapapa, Luke Briscoe, Anthony Thackeray, Scott Wheeldon, Keal Carlile, Richard Moore, John Davies, James Lockwood, Matty Wildie, Gareth Hock, Luke Cooper, Jason Walton, Josh Hardcastle, Brad Knowles, Sam Brooks, Jack Ormondroyd, Josh Walters.