Preview: Halifax v Keighley

Halifax coach Matt Calland insists his side can still get better, despite winning 50-6 against Toulouse on Easter Monday.

Halifax had lost their last three games – against Hunslet, Leigh and Featherstone – before finding their feet against the Frenchmen.

Calland said: “We did a good job on them, but it was nowhere near the complete performance and it was still nowhere near where we want to be.
“Confidence has been shot since we lost to Hunslet and it’s taken us until now to get over it.”

Carl Hughes is definitely missing for the Cougars after suffering a hamstring injury during Keighley’s Easter Monday victory at Dewsbury.

Keighley coach Barry Eaton said: “We’ve slowly but surely been coming to terms with the Co-operative Championship.

“We’ve been competing physically against most teams this year and we dominated Sheffield in the second half on Good Friday.

“The guys have taken real confidence out of the last few weeks. They’ve got a bit of belief about them but we’ve still got to do the fundamentals if we want some success this year.”

Thursday’s game will be Keighley’s third in six days and their eighth in four weeks, but they will not play again until early May.

Eaton said: “It’s not ideal but the rest will benefit us because we’ve lots of players who are carrying knocks and a couple who might need operations.”

On Halifax, the Keighley coach said: “They’ve had two wobbles but they were against the two unbeaten teams in the division. Leigh and Featherstone are capable of putting a good scoreline on anybody, but Halifax can do that too.

“They look to be back to where they need to be after hitting 50 points against Toulouse. They’ve not turned into a bad team overnight and we’ll be massive underdogs. It’s the third game in six days which is a massive, massive ask for any rugby player at any level.”

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