Halifax coach Karl Harrison admitted the club done everything possible to get talismanic captain Scott Murrell on the field for Thursday night’s Championship showdown with Featherstone.
Murrell, the former Hull KR playmaker, broke his hand against Whitehaven last weekend, but had a pain-killing injection before kick off in a desperate bid to make Harrison’s 17.
In the end, the 27 year old was forced to admit defeat, with Fax eventually slumping to a 30-16 loss that saw them slip to third in the table, four points shy of new leaders Rovers.
“We missed Scott a lot,” said Harrison, who switched Paul Handforth into the halves and brought Craig Ashall in at hooker.
“He desperately wanted to play, but he couldn’t do it. There was no point risking it in the end.
“He is our captain and our leader, but other people we given those roles and didn’t do it or couldn’t do it.
“Questions need to be asked why that was the case.”
Fax failed to perform against Ryan Sheridan’s side, going behind inside the opening minute and constantly looking a distant second best.
“The first 30 minutes we weren’t great; we gifted them three tries and from that point it was always going to be difficult to get back into the game,” said Harrison, whose side now have a weekend off because of Leigh’s appearance in the Northern Rail Cup final.
“We tried really, really hard at times, but we made some dumb plays and got some tough calls as well.
“Featherstone just played better than we did; they got to the end of their sets, kicked well, defended tough.
“We couldn’t get past play two or play three; in the first half we had eight plays in their half with the ball.
“That’s just not acceptable at this level.”