Halifax coach Karl Harrison labelled the performance of young full back Freddie Walker as “sensational” after the former Elland junior made his competitive debut in the fourth round Challenge Cup win over Oxford.
Walker, who joined Fax after leaving Huddersfield last autumn, scored two tries in the 54-12 success and looked dangerous every time he touched the ball.
“I thought Freddie was sensational at full back,” said Harrison, who rested a clutch of key performers ahead of next weekend’s important Championship clash with Leigh at the Shay.
“Freddie was very strong carrying the ball, he kept picking out their big fellas in the middle, winning the collision and coming out the other side.
“He took his two tries really well and he was just really enthusiastic.
“I love it when you see young kids come in and take their chance with both hands like that.
“I think it will have given Ryan Fieldhouse a kick up the bum because he knows now that Freddie is chasing his spot.”
Walker wasn’t the only rookie to impress in the 10-try victory, with hooker Keith Holden turning in a solid performance after replacing Karl Ashall, who suffered a facial injury in the first half.
“Keith did a great job; even though he played a longer spell than we expected because of the injury to Karl,” said Harrison, who is looking for cover for first choice number nine Paul Handforth, who reverted to half back against the Championship One new boys.
“Is Keith up to playing at the top of the Championship yet? I’m not sure, but maybe you don’t find that out until you get thrown in there.
“Karl looks like he has broken his eye socket, which is a blow for the kid because he was playing okay until that happened.”
Fax now join the Super League clubs in Monday’s fifth round draw, with Harrison admitting he would like to be paired with a middle-of-the-road top flight outfit.
“I’m not too bothered,” he said. “But it would be nice to play one of the lower Super League sides because I think we have a bunch of blokes who could do themselves justice on the day.”