Halifax captain Scott Murrell maintains Sunday’s fixture at Bradford Bulls is a “massive” game even though it is in a competition neither club ever envisaged challenging for.
Unlike 12 months ago when they were both in the Qualifiers facing Super League sides, each failed to reach the Championship top-four this time around and are now consigned to the Championship Shield.
Dire Halifax lost their opener - a fourth successive defeat - in disappointing style 48-28 at home to Sheffield Eagles last weekend so head to Odsal in need of a win to eventually challenge for the trophy.
“It’s a massive game, a big derby match,” said stand-off Murrell.
“Obviously both sides aren’t where they want to be but we are there, there’s no escaping that.
“We have to reassess and obviously we’re disappointed with the Sheffield performance so that makes this Bradford game even bigger than it already it is.
“There’s silverware, too, at the end of the day. For some people it might be the first chance to win something with this club, for others possibly maybe the last.
“We’re working hard towards it but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves as we know we have a lot of work to do to put us in that position.
“We’ve played well in patches this season but need some consistency now.”
On Bradford, who Halifax have beaten home and away this term, Murrell added: “They’ve some quality players.
“I played for a long time with Kris Welham at Hull KR and he’s still putting in decent performances.
“Danny Addy plays well and then they’ve brought in people like Dane Chisholm from Australia.
“We have to be at our best to beat Bradford and we’ll be doing everything possible to do that.”
Murrell is a doubt, though, due to a dead leg as is Gareth Moore while Ben Kaye is also rated 50/50 due to a groin strain but forward Jacob Fairbank could return after a medial ligament strain and Luke Ambler will undergo a head test following a concussion.
Murrell continued: “We got off to a slow start against Sheffield and just couldn’t get back into it.
“They had confidence and we were short of that given how the end of our regular season went.
“Us and Bradford are both in the same situation; we didn’t perform in the back end of the year when it mattered most.
“They’ll be looking to put one over on us but we’re feeling exactly the same and we have to push on and look forward now.”