HALIFAX boss Karl Harrison watched his side open up a three-point lead at the top of the Co-operative Championship, before insisting it could be another two months before the league table finally begins to take shape.
Fax ran out 50-22 winners against third-placed Dewsbury at the Shay yesterday, their sixth win in seven league starts, with winger Rob Worrincy and prop Sam Barlow both notching try doubles.
Harrison’s outfit are now on 18 points, three clear of next week’s opponents Batley and reigning champions Featherstone, with the Rams heading the chasing pack.
“I think the league is so tight that you are not going to get the league table actually taking something like its final shape until round 12 or round 13,” said Harrison.
“It’s that close, everyone is beating everyone else and Dewsbury are in that bracket too.
“There are going to be some swings and roundabouts over the course of the season and sometimes you are going to get beat in rugby league, but we’ve got some good players at this club.
“We will just go on preparing as best we can for every game, do the right things and not go soft mentally. If you do that you give yourself a chance.
“I thought defensively we were a little bit soft at times yesterday, but we did play really well in patches and scored some nice tries.
“To score the 50 is really nice; to let in the 22 not so nice. Then again, we’d have taken that before the game kicked off, so we can’t complain.
“Liam Hood was really good for them, as we expected, and so was Brad Singleton.
“They caused danger, they’re a big strong team and if you don’t turn up against them they will cause problems for any side in this division.”
Harrison’s modesty belied Fax’s dominance, with a 50-10 second half lead giving the coach the leeway to retire star turns Adam Robinson and Sean Penkywicz to the bench ahead of next weekend’s trip to Mount Pleasant.
“Penkywicz was tired, he’d been spotted since the first minute as part of their gameplan,” said Harrison, who switched Robinson to the back row to cover for the injured Dane Manning.
“With Robinson, the game was won so we took him off.
“He’s got a bit of an elbow injury, it’s a long season and we need to keep our good players fit.
“I thought Penkywicz was outstanding, and Robinson caused problems for them every time he touched the ball.”
Harrison also shuffled his wingers; Paul White replacing Wayne Rettie, while Worrincy’s form finally looks to be on the up after an uncertain start to the year.
“Paul White needed a game, which was why Wayne Reittie was left out,” said Harrison. “And Rob was very, very good for us at times.”
Report - pages 28-29