Mennell: Fax quintet have made a solid start

Paul Mennell

Paul Mennell

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Halifax hooker Paul Mennell believes the first outing of the club’s new playmaking quintet went “extremely well” ahead of Sunday’s second warm up fixture against Keighley at the Shay (3.0).

The newly-signed former Batley number nine, who can also play half back, made his debut in the 30-30 draw with Castleford at Wheldon Road on Boxing Day.

And with another hooker, Ben Kaye, and half backs Simon Brown and Ben Johnston, all making their first appearances alongside captain Scott Murrell - who moved to his favoured loose forward role - Fax were content with the results of their experiment.

“I thought for a first run out, it went extremely well,” said Mennell.

“We seemed to be quite quick around the ruck and the half backs were good as well.

“They were quite dominant and Scott is always talking as well, which makes it easier for the hookers.

“When you are doing the work in the middle, it’s a lot easier if you’re getting some good direction from the halves and they did that fantastically well to say it was our first game together.

“There’s a lot of different qualities in those positions; there’s speed, there’s great defence, there’s good kicking, good passing.

“It’s a well balanced group of players.

“We have been working hard for seven weeks and we knew we could go to Cas and get some kind of result.

“I think we dug in and showed that we can already compete at quite a high level.”

Mennell’s personal highpoint came just before the break, when a clever cut out pass put his former Bulldogs teammate, winger Gareth Potts, in for the second of his eventual hat trick of tries.

“I can’t take the glory for that, it’s a team effort,” said Mennell.

“I’ve played with Gareth for the last two years at Batley and I’m always telling him to hold his shape in attack and not get drawn in.

“He did that and waited for the pass so I just fired it over the top.

“Luckily, it didn’t end up in the stand.”