Boss’s delight as Fax cut out errors and end losing run against Widnes

Boss Simon Grix watched his side finally cut the errors out of their game and claim their first win in seven starts as they beat Widnes 40-10 at the Shay.

Fax, with captain Scott Murrell back calling the shots at half back, were in controlled mood against the Vikings, leading 18-0 before a brief wobble saw the visitors cut the gap to 18-10 at the break with two quickfire tries.

But Grix’s players were in no mood to be denied, shutting out their visitors in the second 40 minutes as young back rower Chester Butler finished with a hat trick of tries.

“If we hold on to the ball, that’s how much better we look,” said Grix, whose side only trained twice late in the week after flying back from Toronto on Tuesday.

“We’ve probably been guilty of trying to play our way out of trouble over the last few weeks and the plan today was a very simple one; to have some intent with every carry and to get forward and leave people on the ground.

“We did that, and I’m really happy for them.

“We didn’t do any plays in yardage, which is smart at times and dumb at others.

“It was a bit dumb today, because we had their defenders flying in and all it takes is a pass out the back, which is still a low risk play.

“There were times in the second half when I wondered whether they were enjoying getting whacked, but it does show we can play that way.

“Overall, we played our hand well and it helped having Scott Murrell back, just someone with the confidence to make the decisions and kick the ball well; he was big for us.

“We were running at 100 percent completion early on, then Ben Johnston did a little forward pass at the line, which happens sometimes.

“After that there were a couple of penalties, our shape wasn’t great on that right edge in defence and they got two tries.

“That was a mental test for us, but I didn’t really think it was ever in doubt.

“From the first set, I thought we had a different look to us.

“The challenge now for the players is to back that up at Dewsbury next weekend.”

As well as Murrell, Grix also recalled Butler and Woodburn-Hall, who have both been left on the sidelines in recent weeks.

“The lads who have been out of the team came back in and performed, which gives me some decisions to make,” said Grix, who also picked out winger Shaun Robinson and prop Elliot Morris.

“That’s great, because we’ve not really had those for a few weeks.

“Woody came in and had a steady game at centre; they were up on him very quickly and he was patient, carried the ball and took a couple of shots, which was okay.

“The issue with Chester has always been his involvement and being in the game consistently.

“He took a step in the right direction today, looking for the ball rather than waiting for it to come to him.

“Shaun Robinson was good; he has been struggling for confidence a little bit, but because we made less errors we played higher up the pitch today which gives defenders decisions to make and he caused a bit of carnage, getting his nose through the line.

“I’ll make mention of Elliot Morris, who I thought was outstanding, getting back to the form of a couple of years ago.

“He’s where he needs to be and he’s turned himself into an easy pick, and one of the first picks in the pack.”

One player missing was Grix’s older brother, Scott, who was ruled out with an injury that seems likely to sideline him for next week’s game at Dewsbury at the very least.

“Scott’s torn his calf, so he’s probably going to miss next week but he might be a chance for the semi final the week after,” said Grix.

“He’ll do everything he can to get himself right for it.

“I think we missed him in some areas, just his effort stuff, being around the ball a lot just through working hard.”