Crowd support crucial for Halifax's local hero
By Josh Barrowcliff
Halifax prop Luke Ambler is confident that home support will make the difference for his side when they take on defending Kingstone Press Championship champions Sheffield Eagles at The Shay on Thursday (7.00pm).
In their last encounter Halifax beat the Eagles 21-6 at the Don Valley Stadium but since then Sheffield recorded an impressive 52-16 victory over Dewsbury Rams to set up a rematch but Ambler believes that playing in front of home support will give his side the edge.
“The fans have been very important for us this season and they’ve played a big part in our success,” said Ambler.
“At The Shay the fans seem very close to the pitch and that adds a certain element of pressure to the match. It feels like they’re beside you on the pitch and that can be a big boost in tight games when you need that extra lift.
“When the crowd come out in their numbers it is a massive boost for us, so hopefully we can get a result and make them proud this week.
“Both sides will be looking to attack from the first whistle; we know that it’s going to be a fierce encounter with the winner taking all the spoils.”
Halifax endured a stuttering end to their league season, winning just four of their last eight games, but local-hero Ambler remains confident they can finish the season strongly and he hopes to impress Sheffield and Ireland coach Mark Aston ahead of the Rugby League World Cup 2013.
“Getting to the Championship Grand Final would be a dream come true for me,” he said. “We know that we had a bit of dip towards the end of the season but we’ve turned it around by putting in some strong displays.
“All our hard work in training has been paying off so far and we just need to keep our feet on the ground and make sure we perform.
“It makes it even more exciting for me that an appearance in the final would come on the eve of a World Cup so I’ll be doing everything I can to impress the coach and with any luck make the Ireland squad.”
Tickets for the Halifax v Sheffield Eagles play-off encounter cost from £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for juniors and can be purchased on the turnstiles.
The 2013 Kingstone Press Championships Finals Day at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday September 29 features a feast of first class Rugby League action with three matches kicking off with the Rugby League Conference Challenge Trophy Final, Leigh Miners v Wigan St Patricks (11.30am), followed by the Championship One Play-off Final (2.00pm) and Championship Grand Final (4.30pm). Tickets cost from just £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and can be purchased by visiting; www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113.
For people with any form of disability the RFL offers a free assistant place when booking tickets. For people with a visual impairment or non-sighted disability we also offer audio visual descriptive commentary for all our events.