Week three of the Qualifiers as usual sees the clubs set to take that one step closer to Super League prior to their week’s rest when the Cup final comes around.
Until then, all eight teams are set for another nerve wrecking 80 minutes as the Qualifiers remains wide open for anyone to challenge for promotion, find out below whether your club will come out on top!
Warrington Wolves Vs Halifax RLFC
Starting with a trip to Cheshire to see the Qualifiers’ favourites Warrington Wolves take to the field against underdogs Halifax RLFC at the Halliwell Jones stadium.
The Wolves are without England International Daryl Clark, with Brad Dwyer set for the hooking role and Jack Johnson returning to the squad.
Halifax meanwhile are without Will Sharp due to suspension and Mitch Cahalane through injury, but Ryan Boyle returns and Chester Butler is named.
Another potential banana skin clash? Or is it the extra step too far for Fax to pull off?
The Wolves, despite losing Clark, have a strong squad regardless, possessing pivots such as Kevin Brown and Declan Patton as well as robust forwards in Chris Hill and Andre Savelio to name a few.
They have been in hot form in recent weeks, finishing Super League on a high and already topping the Qualifiers, making them the team to beat.
On top of that, they have home advantage as well as confidence and being full-time; so yes, the Wolves have the advantage heading into the fixture.
However, this is rugby league, where anything is possible and Fax have stunned more than a few critics under Head Coach Richard Marshall.
If anyone can lead Fax to a surprise win, it is former Warrington assistant Marshall, who may have more than a few tricks up his sleeve.
Looking at their squad, they have retained Scott Murrell and Ben Johnston, both of whom have been exciting this season as a combination; the former with his kicking game, the latter with his neat running and there’s no reason why they can’t cause problems here.
Fax’s three-quarters have also been a handful; Rob Worrincy and Steve Tyrer picking up some form in attack and even provided some strong defending.
Then of course their pack; Boyle returning will provide some experience in such an area for the younger lads available, who should be full of enthusiasm in facing last season’s Super League’s league leaders!
However, despite that, Fax are at a disadvantage at being part-time and not only that, they are undergoing more transition to their squad than the Wolves.
Sharp and Cahalane have been superb so replacing them is a big ask and in such a tough game, one that will be too huge for Fax.
Not to say Fax won’t provide any resistance but let’s face it, going on the aforementioned facts, the Wolves must remain favoured.
So yes, being full-time, home advantage and in better form, the Wolves should continue their winning ways, but you can expect bouts of resistance from Fax as they aim to send a message that they’re not there to make up the numbers!