Championship Preview: Underdogs Halifax want to do the same again

But for a bump in the road in 2016, Halifax could have staked a claim to be one of the successes of the Super 8s structure.

Designed to enable Championship teams to gradually bridge the gap between part-time and becoming a Super League outfit, Halifax have shown promise in The Qualifiers in both 2015 and 2017, and were frustrated to miss out in the middle year which has no doubt stunted their progress a little.

Keeping a tight ship, running a reserves team and not stretching themselves to compete with the money men at Leigh and Toronto, Halifax’s punt at steady growth could be ripped up depending on how the ongoing structure talks end up.

That of course is out of coach Richard Marshall’s hands, and his aim will be simple – to make that top four again.

He said: “We’re the underdogs. There’s four full time teams in this competition now and it’s improving year on the year. The depth and the money at the top end means it’s going to be difficult for the likes of us, Featherstone, Batley and Sheffield to get in that top four.

“It’s not impossible. We did it on the last day of the season last year and hopefully we can do it again this year.

“You want to coach at the highest level. We played against Warrington and Catalans last year which was fantastic for us, our young players got some good experience to take away from that.

“We’ve certainly improved as a result of those experiences. The reality is if you don’t make that top four, you’re in a competition that you don’t really want to be in.”

Head Coach: Richard Marshall
Captain: Scott Murrell
Key Man: Scott Murrell
One to Watch: James Woodburn-Hall

Ins: Harry Kidd (Gloucestershire), Will Maher (Castleford – loan), Brandon Douglas (Castleford – loan), Kian Morgan (Wakefield), Dan Fleming (Toronto).
Outs: Martyn Reilly (Dewsbury), Luke Nelmes (Oldham), Mitch Calahane, Ryan Boyle (Doncaster), Rob Worrincy (Dewsbury), Alex Mammone.

Squad: 1 Will Sharp, 2 Ben Heaton, 3 Steve Tyrer, 4 Ed Barber, 5 James Saltonstall, 6 Scott Murrell, 7 Ben Johnston, 8 Elliot Morris, 9 Ben Kaye, 10 Adam Tangata, 11 Shane Grady, 12 Simon Grix, 13 Jacob Fairbank, 14 Brandon Moore, 15 Harry Kidd, 16 James Woodburn-Hall, 17 Will Maher, 18 Chester Butler, 19 Will Calcott, 20 Frazer Morris, 21 Conor McGrath, 22 Morgan Punchard, 23 Jordan Syme, Dan Fleming, Brandon Douglas, Adam Brook, Chris Cullimore, Connor Davies, Curtis Davies, Jack Fairbank, Sion Jones, Jamie Stringer, Kian Morgan.

Prediction: 5th