Harrison: Fax were way off the mark against Crusaders

Ben Johnston
Ben Johnston

Halifax coach Karl Harrison conceded his side were “way off the mark” after they were shocked 12-6 by an unfancied North Wales Crusaders side at the Shay yesterday.

Fax dominated for long periods against Clive Griffiths’ team, but on a gluepot playing surface found themselves unable to recover from leaking two opportunist scores in the second quarter of the contest.

Harrison’s side, who were booed from the field at half time and full time, have now won just five of their first 10 games, although bonus points mean they remain just two points off second place in the Championship.

“I think disappointing is an understatement, we were way off where we need to be,” said Harrison.

“We didn’t create enough in their part of the field and when we did have them cut open, we didn’t take the opportunity.

“They got in our quarter twice in the first half and scored two tries.

“We put substitutes on to change games on in that first half and they certainly did that.

“Luke Adamson’s first involvement was to force a pass, Ben Heaton’s first involvement was to concede a penalty and his second was to miss a tackle for a try.

“We trained well, we prepared well, but we couldn’t crack them.

“It seems to be the way we are this year, we just can’t find any consistency.”

With a solid pack performance ensuring a glut of territory, Fax’s biggest problems were behind the scrum, where scoring chances were few and far between.

“Our half backs didn’t click,” said Harrison, who admitted he would investigate the possibility of recalling playmaker Simon Brown from his loan spell at Batley.

“We had ball movement, but it was slow and too many passes were going a bit high, a bit low or slightly behind the players they were intended for.

“It was a slow, horrible pitch but that’s not an excuse.

“We have a small squad, because we have restrictions off the field that some other clubs in the competition do not, so our options are limited.

“Simon’s loan expired on Sunday, so I’ll be speaking to him.

“We need to see where he’s at, see where Batley are at and assess where we’re at.

“But we were way off the mark in that department; we never created any space.”