A remarkable 2021 for Halifax Panthers saw the West-Yorkshire club secure a third-place finish in the Betfred Championship, which preceded a run to the play-off semi-finals. They edged an intense meeting with Whitehaven in the Elimination final 24-20, which set up an enticing fixture with rivals Featherstone. Their season came to a close at the Millennium Stadium after a 42-10 defeat – an unfortunate ending to a memorable year.
The Panthers played some dazzling stuff throughout the season, with Head Coach Simon Grix at the wheel. With an excellent playing career in the books, Grix has made an impressive start to life as a Head Coach – Halifax have been on the up since he took on the role, and his nomination for the Betfred Championship Coach of the Year in 2021 is testament to that.
With focus firmly on a shot at promotion, Halifax started preparations for 2022 with two tough tests against Super League opposition.
They hosted Wakefield Trinity first for Scott Grix’s testimonial – Super League class shone through in the end, but the Panthers dug in and made Wakefield really graft, ultimately falling short in a 24-52 defeat.
A trip to the AJ Bell Stadium followed, for the Colin Dixon memorial trophy. Halifax were faced with more Super League quality – Salford fielded a strong side and eventually had too much for the Championship outfit, with a 32-10 final score.
Looking to build on an a fantastic 2021, Halifax were keen to add some new faces to the squad:
- Liam Whitton (Siddal)
- Titus Gwaze (London Broncos)
- Lachlan Walmsley (Whitehaven)
- Joe Keyes (Hull KR)
- Brad Knowles (Sheffield Eagles)
- Cory Aston (London Broncos)
- Matty Gee (Leigh Centurions)
- Louis Jouffret (Whitehaven)
- Joe Arundel (Wakefield Trinity)
- Kyle Wood (Wakefield Trinity)
- Cole Oakley (Newcastle Thunder)
- Liam Harris (York City Knights)
- Connor Robinson (Doncaster)
One to Watch
Halifax have stayed true to the idea that you must build when you're strong and, despite an impressive third-placed finish in 2021, they have added a raft of new signings to their squad for 2022.
The likes of winger Lachlan Walmsley, as well as halfback pair Cory Aston and Louis Jouffret could well have been in this category, but it's Keyes' impressive pre-season form which sees him selected.
Enfield-born Keyes, who burst onto the scene in 2014 - his debut season - by scoring a hat-trick for London Broncos in a win against Leeds Rhinos, finds a new home in 2022 after spells at Bradford and Hull KR.
Though he struggled to make his mark at Super League's Rovers amongst some strong competition in his position, The Shay could be the perfect place for the 26-year-old to shine.
2022 FULL SQUAD:
James Woodburn-Hall, Lachlan Walmsley, Greg Worthington, Joe Arundel, James Saltonstall, Cory Aston, Joe Keyes, Adam Tangata, Brandon Moore, Daniel Murray, Ben Kavanagh, Matt Garside, Jacob Fairbank, Kyle Wood, Elliot Morris, Will Calcott, Ed Barber, Matty Gee, Zacl McComb, Brad Knowles, Titus Gwaze, Ben Tibbs, Liam Whitton, Louis Jouffret, Cole Oakley, Kevin Larroyer
The Panthers get their 2022 Betfred Championship campaign underway on Sunday 30th January, when they travel to Batley Bulldogs. Kick-off at 15:00.