Richard Marshall: We have got value out of our reserves this season

Drew Darbyshire

Halifax coach Richard Marshall lauded the club’s reserves after five players featured in their defeat at Widnes.

Brandon Moore, Chester Butler, James Woodburn-Hall, Connor Davies and Sion Jones have all come through Fax’s reserves system in recent years and all five played in their 26-12 defeat to the Vikings on Saturday.

Halifax are the only Championship side to run a second-string side, but Marshall heaped praise on the system following their loss at the Halton Stadium.

He said: “Our model is to create our own players and we will give some more boys an opportunity next week if they deserve it.

“One of them players who have come through the reserves is Brandon Moore and he was outstanding today. He is a privilege to work with and he epitomises everything I love in a player. He does a lot of work that goes unnoticed and he made a couple of breaks and was strong defensively.

“Brandon was a player that was cast aside from the academy level because he was too old. The club he was at didn’t have a reserve grade so he came to us and he has been here two-and-a-half years now and has been outstanding in his time with the club. I am proud of Chester Butler and James Woodburn-Hall as well. They were fantastic.

“There is no point in having a reserve grade if we are not going to use them so we are all for giving players a chance. We are certainly getting value out of what we have done with our reserves again this season.”

It was announced on Friday that proposals to scrap the Super 8s and The Qualifiers have been voted through following the Rugby Football League’s Extraordinary General Meeting.

It means Super League will return to an automatic one-up, one-down promotion and relegation system for 2019. The Championship will increase to 14 teams next season as part of the re-structuring.

On the structure change, Marshall said: “The Super 8s are better for us but what is better for Super League and competition in general, I’m not sure.

“If you look at the atmosphere today, it was a funny one because there were a lot of anxiety around the competition and structure.

“For Halifax, the Super 8s have been a success. It has been fantastic because it has given us an avenue to put ourselves against the likes of Widnes, Hull KR and Leeds so without the Super 8s, we wouldn’t be in a position to do that.

“For the other teams, it probably hasn’t been a success. I think the play-offs system rewards your form throughout the year and that is the way it is going to go, hopefully we can have a really good go in that again.”