Raiders rep­re­sent an acid test of Fax’s resur­gence

Halifax Courier - - Athletics - By James Roberts Rugby league re­porter

NEW be­gin­ning or false dawn? We’ll be find­ing out the an­swer to that ques­tion about 4.35pm to­mor­row.

There is no doubt that Hal­i­fax des­per­ately needed last week­end’s vic­tory over Dews­bury, so from that per­spec­tive the glass is def­i­nitely half full.

And Matt Cal­land’s side will cer­tainly feel bet­ter about them­selves hav­ing stuck 56 points past the Rams.

But with Bar­row ar­riv­ing at the Shay on the back of their own Easter up­surge, vic­tory over Widnes and an al­most equally im­pres­sive close-call at Leigh on Good Fri­day - re­sults which, with all due re­spect to Dews­bury, carry rather more cache - it is those 24 points last week­end’s vis­i­tors scored that cre­ate a nag­ging sense of doubt.

For all the talk of an im­proved ef­fort in that area, you can­not es­cape the fact that the Rams were pretty aw­ful last week­end.

It took them half an hour to gain a de­cent at­tack­ing foothold, from which they scored, and they then posted those three back-to­back tries in the last four min­utes to give their side of the score­board a de­cep­tive gloss.

Sure, Fax were out on their feet hav­ing played out the sec­ond pe­riod with only one fit in­ter­change player.

But given that Bar­row have Catic, Luisi, Rooney, Har­ri­son, Glee­son and co, an arse­nal of at­tack­ing tal­ent Dews­bury could only dream of, the threat to their line to­mor­row will be in­fin­itely greater than it was seven days ago.

If Fax can with­stand that, then their re­vival re­ally will be be­yond ques­tion.

Staying in: Danny Jones is back in the driv­ing seat at half back af­ter re­plac­ing Ben Black dur­ing last week­end’s win over Dews­bury

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