Northern Rail Cup favourites set to clash

Two of the Championship’s heavyweights clash at the Shay on Sunday when the past two Grand Final winners Halifax and Featherstone Rovers meet.

Fax have got the better of their opponents in their last two cup games, winning golden point thrillers in the 2010 Grand Final and last season’s Northern Rail Cup semi-finals.

But Rovers will still start the game as slight favourites, with both sides undefeated to date this year.

Fax forward Iain Morrison will be denied a chance to face his former club after being ruled out with a knee injury.

An initial scan has proved inconclusive and he is now expected to have an MRI on the problem, though it is not thought to be as serious as was first feared.

Fax coach Karl Harrison is still hoping to extend the loan period of Wakefield prop Matt James, while three-quarter Lee Paterson is available following a long lay-off after coming through an under-23s fixture unscathed.

Rovers coach Daryl Powell said his side was a “little bit patchy” during their win over Dewsbury, but was pleased with their strong finish to the game particularly after a midweek match at Oldham.

He will check on a slight hamstring strain on Jon Grayshon before finalising his team, and is relishing Sunday’s contest.

“Halifax have been going okay, have recruited heavily and have a smart, disciplined coach in place,” Powell said.

“We know they’ve had a few injuries but they’ve got a deep squad and it will be a good test for us.”

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