Halifax coach Richard Marshall highlighted a lack of pace and a quality kicking game as two deficiencies in his side following their narrow 20-16 loss against Featherstone at the LD Nutrition Stadium yesterday.
A young Halifax side competed far better than in their 62-0 thrashing at the hands of Wakefield Trinity on their last visit to the district.
Marshall said: “I think we lack a bit of pace. I do think we need some pace and that doesn’t come overnight. Some people are naturally gifted with pace and speed.”
“We’ve probably got to look at other ways to try and break the opposition down, because I thought Featherstone were a bit quicker than us at times.
“Obviously they scored a try, where they got the ball out the wings with a ball over the top.”
“I thought their kicking game was better as well. I thought Ridyard, when he needed to kick and put the right play on, did so and that was the difference between the two teams.”
Halifax were without a number of key players, including halfback Scott Murrell, who usually takes the most responsibility for their kicking game.
Marshall said “Scott will offer us that, but we can’t rely on one player. We’re talking about our hookers doing a little bit more work this year.
“We’re talking about our middles and whoever needs to kick and build pressure being in a position to do it.”
“I’m not saying that we’re gonna have props kicking the ball. We don’t want that, but at the same time, we’re a multifaceted team and we enjoy doing what we’re doing.”
He added: “It’s probably been a theme for the last two or three years with us. It’s a big part of the game, kicking.
“You’ve either got to make sure you kick with the ball well, or score tries with ball in hand.”
The sides will face each other again in the opening round of the Betfred Championship and the Fax boss also offered his thoughts on that clash: “When it’s the Championship, it will be different.
“We need to take our opportunities, which we didn’t today and Featherstone didn’t either. I thought they bombed a couple of chances and tries.”