Halifax coach Richard Marshall was left to reflect on more wayward finishing as his side slipped to their first home defeat of the year against Batley at the Shay yesterday.
Fax finished on the wrong end of a 17-12 scoreline to leave them with two wins from their first four Championship starts ahead of next Sunday’s trip to London (3.0).
Both sides scored two tries, but, despite looking less than fluent with the ball, it was Fax who manufactured the most chances.
“It was a hard game and it went the way we thought it would in terms of the intensity and what Batley would present us with; a rigid, strong game plan,” said Marshall, whose side were similarily wasteful at Sheffield a fortnight ago..
“We missed our opportunities again.
“We bombed two clear breaks, had Gareth Moore’s first half try disallowed for, well, I don’t know what having looked at the replay.
“I have no idea, there was nothing up with that in my opinion.
“Jake Eccleston was pulled back a couple of times for forward passes as well; they start to add up.
“We didn’t have as many as we did at Sheffield the other week, but we had enough to win that game.
“Both our pivots were busted in that second half; Scott Murrell had a facial injury and Gareth was hobbling around on one leg, so we lost some direction there.
“Combine that with their forwards being on top and it makes it difficult.
“They rattled us, they played a tough game and they caused us problems.
“We have been really good at home, going right back into last season, and that wasn’t the case this time.
“You always want the two points, but we’ve London and Leigh coming up next and we need to focus on those games now.”
Marshall said he was particularly concerned with the lack of support runners, with clean breaks from Jacob Fairbank, Adam Tangata and Ben Heaton all ending with the ball carrier being left without the option of passing.
“We are usually pretty good in that area, supporting the man with the ball, but we were a bit hesitant,” said Marshall.
“We were reacting rather than being proactive in that area.
“We were a little bit like that against Sheffield and it’s something we need to work on.
“We certainly need to be better next week.”