By Jacob Kilbride
Halifax RLFC will be aiming to strengthen their grip on a place in the Betfred Championship top four when they travel to London Broncos this Sunday (1:30pm kick-off).
Halifax returned to third place in the table with a 34-20 win over Featherstone, gaining ground on the Rovers as well as London and Toulouse who battled to a 20-20 draw in France.
Fax currently sit level on points with second-placed Toulouse and can move four points clear of London with a victory in the capital.
Please note that the match will kick off at 1:30pm rather than the traditional 3pm in order for supporters to watch the football World Cup final (find full details here).
Fax will enter this fixture full of confidence having won emphatically against Featherstone in their last outing, their fourth successive victory.
Victory over the Rovers also means that Fax have now lost just twice in their last 14 matches and that only league champions Toronto have lost less games in the same amount of time.
In terms of players, scrum half Ben Johnston will be looking to keep up his remarkable try-scoring form after scoring ten in his last seven, whilst full back Kieren Moss has touched down five times from his four appearances since joining from Hull KR on loan last month.
Head to Head
Halifax have struggled in their recent visits to the capital, losing all of their last four matches away to London.
Kieran Dixon scored twice in the last league meeting at the Trailfinders as Fax lost 34-6, but the Blue and Whites will take confidence from their 26-16 triumph at the MBi Shay Stadium in April, the most recent clash between the sides (watch the highlights of that match here).
Last weekend forward Jacob Fairbank racked up his 150th career appearance and Ben Johnston is also in line to reach the same feat.
Prop Dan Fleming could also reach 100 career appearances, if chosen.
Richard Marshall has no fresh injury concerns to report on from last week’s win over Featherstone and names an unchanged 19-man squad.
Forwards Brandon Douglas and Harry Kidd remain long-term injury concerns whilst Macauley Davies has re-joined Swinton following the end of his one-month loan spell at Fax from Wigan.
Meanwhile, London are set to hand new signing Eloi Pelissier a Broncos debut after the former Catalans and Leigh hooker joined the club until the end of the season earlier this week.
London Broncos Squad: Elliott Kear, Rhys Williams, Ben Hellewell, Kieran Dixon, Apirana Pewhairangi, Jarrod Sammut, Tom Spencer, James Cunningham, Mark Ioane, Daniel Harrison, Jay Pitts, Matthew Davis, Alex Walker, Edward Battye, Michael Channing, Ben Evans, Matthew Davies, Daniel Hindmarsh-Takyi, Eloi Pelissier
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.
Over on FaxTV this week, we spoke to captain Scott Murrell and coach Richard Marshall who reflected on the Featherstone triumph and looked ahead to the London clash. Marshall also delivered a message directly to the fans asking for their support this weekend.