Halifax scrum-half Ben Black is determined to beat Featherstone in the Co-operative Championship Grand Final on Sunday September 26 and give the people of the West Yorkshire town something to cheer about.
Black has been with Halifax since 2008 and become an integral member of the squad, helping them to their second successive Grand Final and he wants to lead his side to glory and avoid a repeat of their 2009 Grand Final result.
“It’s very exciting to be going to another final,” said Black. “We had the disappointment of losing to Barrow last year and we don’t want to repeat that again this year.
“You don’t often get to play in Grand Final games and to be able to play in two back-to-back is amazing. But I don’t just want to play in one, I want to win one as winning the Grand Final would be a massive thing for me.
“But I don’t just want to win the game for me, I want to win for the club and the fans and everyone who’s been behind me while I’ve been here because Halifax has become like a second home to me.
“I think we have one of the best supported teams in the league and it’s important for me as a player to have the fans there willing you on. To come out on to the pitch and see all the blue and white shirts in front of you, it just gives you a buzz.”
Halifax earned their place in the Championship’s marquee event after comprehensively beating Sheffield Eagles in front of the Sky Sports cameras last Thursday night but Black, a try-scorer in that game, knows in-form Featherstone will be a different prospect when the teams clash for the fourth time this season.
“We expected and got a very tough game from Sheffield,” said Black. “But they had already effectively played two Grand Finals to get to the stage to play us and they deserve great credit for finishing third.
“But we know Featherstone have been the form team this season as they’ve shown against us in our previous games, but the Grand Final is a different prospect. We’ve been there before and experienced the pressure.
“We went into the final last year very excited and we ended up losing. This year we know what to expect and we’ll be going into it relaxed and we’ll be treating it as a normal game.
“We’ve had a good year so far, hopefully now we can go on and make it an extra special year and give the club and fans what they deserve.”