Fax back on track, but will hunt for Carlile replacement, says Grix

Halifax coach Simon Grix confirmed he will look for a permanent replacement for retired hooker Keal Carlile after his side grabbed a morale-boosting Championship win over York.
Scott Grix celebrates his 150th career tryScott Grix celebrates his 150th career try
Scott Grix celebrates his 150th career try

Fax banished the uncertainty of what Grix described as a “messy” week with a comprehensive 28-4 sucess, winger Shaun Robinson scoring twice as the Knights left town win-less in the league.

Grix found out on Thursday that Carlile, a key close-season signing, had no choice but to retire at the age of 29 after a recurrence of the heart condition that almost ended his career a decade ago.

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And while young Welshman Curtis Davies stepped into the 17 against the Knights, Grix believes reinforcements are required.

“Keal’s fitted in brilliantly and, taking the personal stuff out of it, it’s a tough one for the team because he’s a quality nine who’s been helping to improve the other nines,” said Grix.

“We’ll look for a replacement. Those places in the spine - one, six, seven, nine - are where you need your own players, ideally.

“A few names have been mentioned already and we’ll be proactive and have a good look round.

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“We’ve got options with Brandon, who can play big minutes now he’s fit, Curt and Muzza, but I would like another out and out nine.

“We’ll see what we can afford as well, it’s not like we’re going to the supermarket and picking out whatever we want.

“It’s been a tough week; Keal, Tom Gilmore not making it with his hamstring, not really performing the previous three weeks, laying down that challenge to our middles about how they needed to play.

“We’re not a bad team now and we weren’t a bad team when we were losing those two games by two points.

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“People want to call out the negatives, which is human nature, but there has been positive stuff going on in patches.

“Today, we just strung that together for long periods.

“What we haven’t been doing, we did.

“Territorially, we spent a reasonable amount of time down their end.

“We scored some nice tries and, generally, everyone did their jobs reasonably well and the desperation was back in our defence.

“They’re a good team and they stretch you and make you vulnerable, but we dealt with that.

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“It’s great to get a win but no one’s thinking we’ve cracked it.”

Grix fielded one dual-registered Huddersfield player, young forward Sam Hewitt, and admitted it would have been more in the aftermath of last week’s loss to Sheffield if the Giants had not been indirectly hit by the ongoing furore surrounding coronavirus.

“Huddersfield had a few days off and few of them went away to Tenerife,” said Grix, who also watched his brother, Scott, score his 150th career try against the Knights.

“They’re not ill, but they’ve had to follow protocols when they got back, which meant they couldn’t train, which meant they weren’t available to us.

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“We said last week we couldn’t go on and there probably would have been more changes if people had been available.

“Luckily for some of those lads who maybe didn’t deserve to play after last week, they’ve all had a decent crack and maybe proved something to themselves, each other and me.

“It’s all worked out okay, but it’s been a messy week.

“The try was a nice milestone for Scott and he deserved it; he’s been one of our best in the opening few rounds.

“He’s set his standards now, along with six or seven others, and the rest of them need to get on board with those levels now.”

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