HALIFAX boss Karl Harrison was content with most things bar the blow-out final scoreline after his side’s second pre-season outing, against Super League outfit Salford yesterday.
The Reds, the club Harrison coached between 2002 and 2007, ran out 46-16 winners at their new Barton stadium.
But a full-strength home side needed to come from behind after Fax, who looked far sharper than they had done against Keighley on Boxing Day, opened up a 16-6 lead going into half time thanks to tries from former Salford centre Steve Tyrer (2) and winger Rob Worrincy.
Salford’s Australian stand off Daniel Holdsworth scored one try and made another to level at the break and Phil Veivers’ side dominated the second period, to leave Harrison with mixed emotions.
“We got what we wanted out of the game and we take a lot of positives away from it,” said Harrison, who fielded 19 players to the Reds’ 22.
“I don’t think the score really reflected the game; I thought we played exceptionally well in the first half.
“With our so-called top squad on the field in that first 30 minutes we caused them all kind of problems.
“The ball movement was far better than it was against Keighley and to say we are a month away from our season starting I think we’re on track.
“After that, there was a bit of a merry-go-round of players going on and off and that had an effect.
“To be fair to Salford, they muscled it out pretty well and played the field far better than we did in that second half.
“They upped the ante, upped the pace of the game and there was quite a strong breeze out there; they kicked us to death, basically.
“I was a bit disappointed with the way we finished, I thought we went a bit soft, but overall, I’m pretty pleased.”
Harrison tried a variety of combinations in key positions, with full back Paul White the big individual winner after a sparkling first half display against his old club.
Fax are in action again next weekend, at Championship rivals Leigh, with Harrison expecting both clubs to field standard 17-man selections with a limit of 10 interchanges.
“Next week will probably be a bit different,” confirmed Harrison.
“I wanted to look at Ben Heaton at full back yesterday, who I thought did okay in the second half, but White was exceptional before the break.
“We mixed things around at centre and back row, just to have a look at a few things.
“Mick Nanyn got a knee-on-knee injury on Friday night, which was why he wasn’t playing.
“Joe Chandler and Steve Tyrer both got knocks but hopefully they’ll be okay for the Leigh game.”
Leigh have signed the former Bradford back rower Michael Worrincy, the older brother of Fax winger Rob.