White: Slow start was all in the mind

Paul White
Paul White

Halifax winger Paul White has attributed the club’s sluggish start to Sunday’s Championship clash with Sheffield to mental rather than physical factors.

Just a week after winning the Northern Rail Cup in Blackpool, Fax found themselves trailing 16-0 against the Eagles after a horror start to the crucial league encounter.

White scored one of three second half touchdowns as Fax stormed back to snatch a 30-26 success to keep their second place on the league ladder, but dismissed any suggestion that Karl Harrison’s side had over-celebrated after their Bloomfield Road triumph.

“It’s not about having an extra drink, it’s about the emotions and bringing yourself back down to earth,” said White, who believes the danger of defeat might actually have been greater against less high-profile opponents.

“You’ve just won a cup final, you’re higher than anything and you need bringing back down to earth.

“It’s a big ask after a big game, but all the big teams have to do it.

“It wasn’t like we were playing a nobody, it was Sheffield, and while it took a bit longer than we’d have hoped, we got there in the end.

“Honestly, I think it would have been tougher if it had been a run of the mill game.

“It was a top of the table game and we knew how important it was.

“Karl put a lot of onus on us to perform during the week, he kept us grounded and made sure we knew we had a job to do.

“We made a big effort and we got our rewards.”

White admitted his inclusion - at the expense of his injured friend Wayne Reittie - had been a little bitter-sweet after he was omitted from the side that played in Blackpool, despite notching a try-treble at Hunslet a week earlier.

“I thought I’d done enough at Hunslet, but the team was probably picked before that,” said White.

“I’d played myself out through the year, and I’ll be the first to admit that, but I thought I might have had a shot.

“It would be easy if me, Rob (Worrincy) and Reitts didn’t get on, and it would be easy if I could say they weren’t doing a job.

“They’re both playing well though, so while I was disappointed not to play, I was really happy for them.

“But it was certainly good to be back out there with the boys at the weekend.”

Halifax’s under 23 side secured a second-placed league finish and a play off berth after beating last season’s champions Oldham 36-4.

Former Roughyeds centre Ben Heaton scored twice, with fellow threequarter Chris Holroyde, who had a loan spell at the Whitebank Stadium earlier in the year, also grabbing a double.

Joe Martin and Matt Bradley also touched down for Fax, with Gavin Stead kicking six conversions.

Fax will now face Oldham again in play off action, although a date - which is likely to be this week - has yet to be confirmed.