“It’s great to beat one of the full-time teams” says Grix after Panthers’ victory over London Broncos

Panthers’ boss Simon Grix was in a positive mood following his side’s emphatic 47-14 victory over London Broncos.

By James Robinson
Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 2:03 pm
Simon Grix. Photo: Simon Hall
Simon Grix. Photo: Simon Hall

After their disappointing cup loss to Batley, the Panthers started the game in sensational fashion, with their first try coming after only four minutes.

Grix was impressed with his side but suggested he won’t be getting carried away by the scoreline.

“I thought with the ball, we were a lot more disciplined. I thought we could have had a few more especially in the first half,” he said.

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However, Grix admitted his side’s relative caution was perhaps due to him wanting control and care when using the ball.

“There were a few times they could have passed the ball instead of taking it in to contact, but I think that was down to me telling them to look after it in possession, so that’s my fault,” he said.

The Broncos came into the match looking to kick their season off with a win, and the Panthers’ boss was thrilled to start the season with a victory.

“It’s great to beat one of the full-time teams, but it’s only one game,” he said. “It’s a long season, and we have two weeks to prepare for the next game. We can start honing some things now; and see patterns in the play.”

Zak McComb made his debut in stunning fashion, scoring one try and also providing an assist.

Grix was full of praise for McComb and was delighted for him to mark his debut with a score.

He said: “Zak was excellent, as were all the boys. He was really disappointed to miss out in round one, but you can see from his reaction to the try how proud he is to play for Halifax.”

The Panthers scored eight tries on a high-octane night at the Shay, with Connor Robinson kicking seven conversions and one drop goal.

Despite the high-scoring match, Grix insisted that the attacking approach was not part of the original game plan.

He said: “We’ve been conservative in training this week, and really defensively-minded. Obviously, we scored early in both halves, which really helped to settle the nerves. We did rest on our laurels a little bit and conceded a couple of poor tries down the short side, but we’ll work on that over the coming week.”

The Panthers went into half time 18-4 ahead, and fended off some strong Broncos attacks just before the half-time whistle.

Grix was full of praise for his side’s defensive tenacity in protecting their advantage before the hooter.

“That period just before the break is always crucial. If they had scored, they’d have clawed their way back and gained some momentum,” he said.

The Panthers face Bradford away next week, which will be a keenly contested derby.

Grix added that he had watched Bradford play, and hopes his side can continue enforcing the positive elements from their opening victory.

“They’ll certainly be up for a derby against Halifax,” he said. “We’ll try to match the emotive side of the game, with it being a local rivalry. If we can come with a similar attitude towards dominating possession, and looking after the ball, that will go a long way.

“However, we need to tidy up some areas as Bradford are very dangerous.”

The Panthers face Bradford in the Yorkshire derby on April 18, kick off at 5.15pm.