We are so close: Calland

HALIFAX boss Matt Calland was left to rue the “fine line” that separates victory from defeat after his side continued their win-less start to the Co-operative Championship season with a 32-22 home loss to unbeaten Leigh yesterday.

Calland’s side were level at 10-10 at the break after tries from Joe Chandler and Miles Greenwood cancelled out early Leigh touchdowns from Stuart Littler and Jamie Ellis.

Ian Millward’s Centurions then scored four tries in 14 minutes midway through the second half to make the game safe, before Fax scored twice in the closing minutes to claim a bonus point.

But Calland believed things might have been different if Greenwood’s 56th-minute line break - which came with Leigh leading 16-10 - had been crowned with a try instead of a horrible pass that found only the touchline.

“The Greenwood one was a killer. If we had scored that we were level, instead they went up the other end and scored and we were 12 behind,” said Calland, who left Australians Ben Black and Dylan Nash out of his 17, but recalled centre Lee Paterson and back rower Stephen Bannister.

“We’ll have a look at it, but he had Danny Jones inside and two men outside and I think he picked the right pass, it was just poor execution.

“We just have to practice it in training to make sure that next time it works out, it’s not something we can’t fix.

“You have to take your chances against good teams and we didn’t do that.

“We got in good field position where we could expect to exert some pressure and let them off the hook every time.

“It’s a fine line between winning and losing and our last plays let us down badly in the second half.”

Nevertheless, Calland rated the performance as an improvement on his side’s recent form as Fax prepare to open their Easter programme against another struggling side - Super League bound Widnes - at the Halton Stadium on Thursday night.

“Overall, I think we progressed and it could have gone either way,” he said.

“Leigh are a really good side with a fantastic coach but I didn’t think we were far off.

“It shows how much character there is in the side that we scored a couple of great tries right at the end.”

l Report - pages 36-37