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The following statement has been released from the Chairman and Board of Swinton Lions RLFC.
01 March 2019
Swinton Lions travel to the MBi Shay Stadium this Sunday to face Halifax RLFC in round five of the Betfred Championship.
The Lions travel to Halifax in round five of the Betfred Championship at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Swinton Lions travel to the Shay Stadium this Sunday in search for their first win of the season after coming agonisingly close against French outfit Toulouse Olympique.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the weekend’s action…
The Lions fell just short against full-time team Toulouse, with an almost perfect second-half comeback against Sylvain Houles’s side.
Tries from Mike Butt, Jack Hansen, Rob Fairclough and Liam Forsyth saw Swinton fall just two-points short, with a result of 24-26, despite a last minute effort down the right hand channel.
Stuart Littler’s side continue to fight for the first win of the season, with Halifax, Leigh Centurions and Featherstone Rovers coming up in the next few weeks.
Halifax started their 2019 campaign against Widnes Vikings, losing 40-16 at Halton Stadium. They are two from four, with wins against Leigh Centurions and Batley Bulldogs.
Former Lion Ben White will face Swinton for the first time since returning from Australia, having signed for Richard Marshall’s side on a one-year contract after his spell down under with Berkeley Eagles.
The last time the Lions defeated Halifax was back in 2017, with Swinton claiming a 13-12 victory. Tries from Oliver Davies, Shaun Robinson and a drop-goal from Chris Atkin secured the win for Swinton at Heywood Road, with a crowd of 863.
Who remembers the score? 👇 pic.twitter.com/DzIgLp7gnc
— Swinton Lions RLFC (@Swinton_Lions) February 28, 2019
Watch highlights below of the 2016 meeting at Heywood Road in the Championship Shield where Chris Atkin’s late conversion secured a 28-26 victory to secure victory over Fax and Championship status for the 2017 season.
Head Coach Stuart Littler spoke to the media to discuss the Lions’ tough trip to Halifax.
“The Shay has a good atmosphere and Halifax are a great club. They’ve probably punched above their weight the last few years as a part-time club getting into the top four and fighting with the Super League boys at the end of the year. They’re coached really well by Richard Marshall and have one of the key players of the league in Scott Murrell who gets them around the park. They have Simon Grix in there and have recruited really well with the likes of Kevin Larroyer and Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e. They have strike all over the pitch.
“We need to be on our mettle. Every week we need to be on our mettle in this league and if we’re not and switch off you’ll get burned. Halifax are a great attacking side and we have to be on our meddle in our defence. Our start is massive to the game. We have to be in an arm wrestle and put them in places they don’t want to come out from.
“I have full respect to Halifax as a club. Personally, I enjoyed playing at Halifax, it’s a great arena to play in and the fans are pretty close to the action and get involved. I’m sure we’ll take a travelling army over there and have picked up a few supporters from our performance against Toulouse. We just need consistency in our performance moving forward. Toulouse sets the tone for the rest of the season for me.
“Massive wraps to the fans. They’ve been superb so far and our travelling fans make some noise. Full respect to them. We haven’t performed well away from home but they’ve been cheering so the next couple of weeks hopefully we can give them something to cheer about.”
Captain Rhodri Lloyd is set to miss the weekend’s action due to injury, with the Welsh international to be assessed further this weekend.
Jose Kenga returns to the 19-man squad for the first time since Sheffield, whilst Josh Ganson joins on dual-registration from Wigan Warriors.
Swinton Lions to face Halifax: Matty Ashton, Gavin Bennion, Billy Brickhill, Mike Butt, Rob Fairclough, Liam Forsyth, Josh Ganson, Aaron Hall, Jack Hansen, Chris Hankinson, Frankie Halton, Lewis Hatton, Adam Jones, Paddy Jones, Jose Kenga, Kyle Shelford, Harry Smith, Oscar Thomas, Luke Waterworth.
Halifax to face Swinton Lions: Liam Cooper, Jacob Fairbank, Dan Fleming, Shane Grady, Simon Grix, Ben Johnston, Ben Kavanagh, Ben Kaye, Kevin Larroyer, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, Brandon Moore, Elliot Morris, Scott Murrell, Shaun Robinson, James Saltonstall, Will Sharp, Steve Tyrer, Ben White, James Woodburn-Hall.