Halifax boss Karl Harrison said his side’s play off exit against Sheffield was a “fair reflection” of their current status in the Championship.
Mark Aston’s reigning champions, beaten 21-6 by Fax a fortnight ago, booked a place in next weekend’s Grand Final with a 29-10 win at the Shay on Thursday night.
Fax led 6-0 early on, but never really recovered from conceding two tries in two minutes midway through the half.
“There were some big momentum changes in the game and their backfield players contributed to a lot of that,” said Harrison, who had little choice but to admire the work of the Eagles’ Samoan full back Quentin Laulu Togagae, who was in sensational form all night.
“They were just better than us in that area; their full back in particular is a special player, if you give him any kind of edge he is going to beat you.
“Every team in this competition is missing a player like QLT, there aren’t many like him and how he is not in Super League is beyond me.
“Sheffield deserved to win; it’s probably a fair reflection of where we are this season; we finished third and we’re the third best team in the competition.
“There wasn’t much between the teams at all, but they made the big plays.”
Harrison is expected to make significant changes to his side for 2014, and he was quick to pay tribute to players who will leave the club this winter.
“Everybody in that dressing room is hurting, me included,” he said.
“Some guys, people who have been great servants to the club, have played their last game and didn’t want to go out like that.
“But I think we’re the only professional team not to have any overseas players, any loan players or any dual-reg players and I’m proud of that.
“We like to work with our own players rather than someone elses and we haven’t been far off all year.
“The two teams above us have been four or five years in the making and we’re two years down the track.
“We’ll be back next year to try and improve.”