Fax rethink prior to Cup return

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HALIFAX coach Karl Harrison pledged to review his planned preparation for next weekend’s Carnegie Challenge Cup tie at Leigh after watching the Centurions boss last night’s Co-operative Championship contest at the Shay.

The visitors ran out 32-18 winners to end Fax’s four-match winning streak in the league, with a brace of late tries from Ben Heaton and Wayne Reittie giving the scoreline a deceptively flattering gloss.

And that will prompt Harrison to review his side’s approach ahead of next weekend’s fifth round Cup contest at the Leigh Sports Village.

“It was a reality check, which is what we said the last time we played them in pre season,” said Harrison.

“Maybe we need to look at how we play against them and change things a little bit.

“Whatever we did last week, in terms of preparation, cannot have been good enough.

“We have a big squad and some players may not be playing next week after that.

“But I am not one for making rash statements either and I need to think about things over the weekend.

“We are training tonight, we will have a chat about it and see where we go next week.

“When you lose, you tend to analyse things more deeply than usual, but I have no complaints, we finished well beaten and Paul Rowley has done a magnificent job with them.

“I thought we played poorly all night, for whatever reason.

“We just never seemed to be at the races, we looked tired, passes didn’t stick and defensively I thought we were very, very soft; they made twice as many metres carrying the football as we did.”

The irony was that Fax had started superbly, dominating possession and forcing a string of repeat sets in the opening quarter.

But the home side could only score one try, through loose forward Craig Ashall, before two touchdowns close to the half hour gave Leigh a 10-6 lead they would never relinquish.

“We built a lot of pressure with those early drop outs, but Dane Manning dropped the ball on play one, Luke Ambler dropped the ball on play two, Anthony Thackeray drops one on play one, all in their quarter,” said Harrison.

“That relieved the pressure on them and it gave them some energy to get into the game.

“We’d had seven sets at one stage and they’d had one play, but they managed to change the momentum of the game and turn it round in their favour.

“I thought John Duffy was outstanding for them and their forwards ran pretty hard all night.”

FORMER Halifax stand off Graham Holroyd, who retired for the second time last summer, has joined Championship One side Oldham on a short-term contract.