Despite missing out on the top four in the regular season, Halifax are on course for a home match in the Championship Shield semi-final. A test of their talent will come on Sunday when they play host to a resurgent Sheffield Eagles side.

Last Time Out 

Halifax ended their regular campaign in disappointing fashion as they were beaten 41-22 at the hands of London Broncos. Fax were 16-6 down at the break but they did break the deadlock through Ben Johnston after ten minutes. Eddie Battye notched a first half brace before Matty Garside got in on the act with a try of his own. Jamie Soward and Will Sharp exchanged tries in the opening stages of the second half before a double from Ed Barber got the hosts on level terms at 22-22. However, London struck three tries and a drop goal in the final quarter to win the match. Mark Ioane, Nick Slyney and Sadiq Adebiyi all got on the scoresheet for the capital club, with Soward converting and also kicking a drop goal for good measure.

Sheffield Eagles beat Whitehaven 32-14 to move five points clear of the relegation zone. It was Haven who led 12-10 at the halfway mark following tries from Chris Taylor and Grant Gore, as well as a penalty goal courtesy of the latter. Quentin Laulu-Togagae and Rob Worrincy were the first half try-scorers for the Eagles. Gore extended Haven’s advantage with his second penalty goal of the game before Sheffield ran away with the victory thanks to tries from Stan Robin, Steve Thorpe, Nathan Chappell and Garry Lo.

Key Battle 

Sheffield’s midseason signings of Nathan Chappell, Stan Robin and Thibaut Margalet have really bolstered the squad and confidence is slowly returning to the full-time club. Chappell, who plays in the centre, was signed from Huddersfield Underbank and he has brought a solid presence to the three-quarters that include the likes of Garry Lo, Menzie Yere and Rob Worrincy. Teams always have to be wary of Halifax’s nifty three-quarters as they can really cause some damage on their day. Will Sharp, Ben Heaton, Jake Eccleston and James Saltonstall all started against the Broncos and they will be wanting to make amends for the defeat.

Prediction 

The Halifax players will still be licking their wounds after failing to book a spot in the Qualifiers but their focus will now shift towards the Championship Shield, and round 1 against the Eagles. Sheffield will be wanting to make a statement of intent against Fax but they will have to be on top form against Richard Marshall’s men, who will be aiming to start their schedule as they mean to go on – Halifax by 18