Fax’s Barber back on track and looking to build

Ed BarberEd Barber
Ed Barber | Simon Hall OMHRugbyPics
Halifax back rower Ed Barber has said he wants to build some ‘confidence’ after showing signs of getting his 2020 season on track in last weekend’s tempestuous Championship loss at Leigh.

Barber was at the heart of the action in the 34-20 reverse, scoring his side’s second try just before half time before being spear-tackled by home half back Jarrod Sammut in the incident that earned the Australian a red card.

Barber, who has played everywhere bar full back and wing for his hometown club, then switched to stand off after Fax lost James Woodburn-Hall with an ankle injury, looking a dangerous presence on the visitors’ left edge as they chased the game.

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“I enjoyed being back in the side, so we’ll see where we are against London next weekend,” said Barber, who was making only his second league appearance of the year after a pre-season knee injury and a one-game suspension.

“Hopefully, Simon saw something in me and will pick me again for that game.

“I missed the pre-season games with my knee, then got the suspension, so I just want to try and build some momentum and confidence now.

“I did Veganuary and Dry January and it helped me lose a bit of weight and set me up for the season.

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“I just want to play with a smile on my face and I’m happy to do that wherever Simon thinks I can do a good job for the team,

“With Sammut, I gave him the fend and sat him down, then the next thing I knew I was on my head.

“I think I rolled it pretty well and landed safely.

“I don’t think he was trying to injure me, but it’s a red card these days, no doubt about that.”

Despite Sammut’s dismissal a couple of minutes before the break, Fax paid a high price for an untidy second half, with Barber himself conceding an early penalty that allowed Ben Reynolds to edge Leigh 16-10 ahead.

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And the former Elland junior offered an insight into the potential root cause.

“We are killing ourselves with the discipline and the errors; they just kept scoring on the back of our penalties and mistakes,” he said.

“It’s not helping, at all.

“It’s when the opposition get a quick ruck, we make a second effort or try and get off our line a bit too quick to try and win it back and referees are pinning us.

“We just need to start winning the tackles; win the collision, get two or three men in the tackle and win the floor.

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“If you’re doing that, you’re not getting sucked in to making those second efforts and pushing the referees.

“The penalty after half time, there was a bit of late footwork and my arm was dangling a bit, it wasn’t malicious, but it hurt us.

“Overall, we tried overplaying a bit, which is sometimes hard to avoid when the other side are down to 12.

“There’s always a temptation there to try and score off every play.

“Instead of getting them on the next play, we were forcing things and coming up with mistakes.”