HALIFAX centre Mick Nanyn believes his current club can still turn the tables on his former Leigh teammates when the two sides collide in the fifth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday (2.0), insisting that Karl Harrison’s line up have not become “a bad side overnight”.
Nanyn, the goalkicking threequarter who sits seventh in the game’s all-time points scoring charts, made the switch to Fax last winter but played only 40 minutes under new coach Karl Harrison before snapping his cruciate ligament in training.
The Lancashire-based player, who had reconstructive surgery last month, was back at the Shay last Thursday to see Paul Rowley’s Centurions notch a rain-sodden Co-operative Championship victory, Fax’s first defeat in five league starts.
“I thought we were pretty good for 25 minutes, looking strong and dominating possession and field position, although without creating a massive amount,” said Nanyn, who has a unique insight into life in both camps.
“After that though, you’d have to say Leigh put us to the sword.
“They’re a good side; you can see the structures that Ian Millward put in place last year are still there and Rowls has added a few touches of his own here and there, which you can see in the way they play.
“They obviously had a fair turnover of players in the autumn, but the guys at half back and the senior players in the pack and backline are all still there and know what they need to do to make those structures work and that’s made it easier to integrate the new lads into the team.
“For Halifax, it was disappointing but one defeat does not make you a bad side overnight.
“The boys can definitely turn it round, but I would say that Halifax are perhaps better suited to a drier track and looking out of the window it doesn’t look like we’re going to get that this weekend.
“It might be that Karl needs to come up with something a bit different on Sunday if they’re going to get the result.
“Either way, I think it’ll be a great game because both clubs will want that quarter final place.”
Nanyn’s own immediate future revolves around rehabilitating his knee with regular gym and physio sessions near his home.
And the player, who is still rated as having a slim chance of returning to action this year, admitted his state of mind has been helped by staying away from the club.
“I think it’s been better for my mindset, not being there in the dressing room or watching the boys train, because that’s a constant reminder of what you’re missing,” said Nanyn, who will be at the LSV as a spectator.
“Physically, it’s better for me as well, because being in a car for a couple of hours does not do the knee any good.
“I’m working with a physio over here and I’m feeling quite optimistic.”
HALIFAX have confirmed they will play Toulouse in Toulouse on Saturday, June 2, as part of the Rugby Football League’s new Anglo-French challenge.
No kick off time has been confirmed.