Halifax wait for Noble's answer on consultancy role

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The Independent Online

Halifax hope to have an answer about their job offer to Brian Noble before tomorrow's Challenge Cup tie against Bradford. The former Bradford, Wigan and Great Britain coach has been in talks with the club about a consultancy role until the end of the season.

Halifax, who won the Championship Grand Final last year, have just one victory in seven league matches this season.

Their idea is for Noble, out of a job since leaving Crusaders at the end of last season, to work alongside the current coach, Matt Calland, not replace him. The club's director, Ian Croad, said that the vastly experienced Noble could "provide a fresh pair of eyes".

He is unlikely to be in place to do so, officially at least, in time for tomorrow's tie. Despite Halifax's poor form, they firmly believe that the Bulls are vulnerable after their own poor start to the Super League season. With their licence application pending, Fax also want to show that they can host a big game. They are hoping for a crowd of 9,000.

The other stand-out tie of the round is at Headingley today, where Leeds entertain Crusaders. The Welsh club's shock win over Huddersfield two weeks ago shows that they are not to be taken lightly, but the Rhinos are a much more convincing proposition with Danny McGuire and Jamie Peacock back in their side.

Also today, Cup specialists Sheffield Eagles are at St Helens, Oldham go to Hull and Lezignan are at Featherstone.

Tomorrow, the Cup-holders, Warrington, give a debut to their reserve half-back, Gareth O'Brien, against Keighley.

Wigan, at home to Barrow, have agreed a two-year contract extension with their goal-kicking winger and reigning Man of Steel, Pat Richards.

New Zealand were made to pay for their mistakes as they went down 20-10 to Australia in the Anzac Test on the Gold Coast.

St Helens-bound Lance Hohaia made the first blunder, missing a high kick to allow Billy Slater to score his first. Jharal Yow Yee made it 10-0 on his debut, before the Kiwis struck back through Matt Duffie.

Slater and another debutant, Jamal Idris, capitalised on loose balls to put the Kangaroos clear, before Hohaia grabbed a late consolation. The teams meet again in October, before flying to Britain for the Four Nations.