This Sunday sees two West Yorkshire clubs battle it out as preparations for the new season step up a few gears. Halifax RLFC host Huddersfield Giants, with the latter not having any preseason matches as of yet whilst Halifax have already defeated Super League opposition in the shape of Hull KR. Paul Anderson has stated that the squad he’s sending to Halifax may be a bit trimmed down compared to what it may have been if their first preseason game hadn’t have been called off. Coach Anderson, as well as everyone at Huddersfield, will have been disappointed that their first preseason clash, against Bradford, was called off due to heavy snow at the Provident Stadium. Richard Marshall, however, will be wanting to use the players that weren’t picked, or eligible, for the Hull KR clash such as Cook Islands prop forward Adam Tangata.
The Giants fans will be looking forward to seeing their new signings in action for the first time in 2015. Prop forward Craig Huby and halfback Jamie Ellis have both made the move from Castleford to Huddersfield for the new season. Jack Hughes has joined the Giants on a one year loan from Wigan Warriors with Larne Patrick going the opposite way. As well as the three mentioned, coach Anderson has also delved into youth with the signing of 19 year-old back-rower Oliver Roberts from recently relegated Bradford Bulls. The Giants are well equipped to have a decent season in Super League, and the starting 13 that will face Halifax on Sunday will want to lay down a marker and nail down their starting spot for the first game of the season against Hull on February 8.
Halifax will want to keep their winning momentum going after an impressive 46-16 win against Hull KR in Richard Marshall’s first game as head coach. At halftime, the score was 16-16 and the game was finely poised until Halifax swept the Rovers away with five converted tries. Tries for Fax in the first half came from Tommy Saxton, Ben Heaton and Dane Manning. The scorers for the Robins were Kris Welham, Kieran Dixon and Graeme Horne. Steve Tryer, Miles Greenwood, Chris Taylor and a brace from prop Luke Ambler rounded off a brilliant victory for Halifax which will have left their fans optimistic for the 2015 season. Debutants for Halifax included try scorers Greenwood and Taylor, as well as utility back James Saltonstall, winger Alex Brown, prop forwards Mitch Cahalane and Richard Moore, and halfback Matt Place.
The Infirmary Cup is the prize for the winner of this preseason matchup, and what better way to get ready for a new season than a West Yorkshire derby? A match report can be found on here in the hours after the game, hope to see you all down at The Shay for what’s going to be a great contest.