Grix content as Fax beat Hull FC but Kavanagh injury mars success

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Halifax coach Simon Grix pronounced himself content after his side distanced Hull FC 18-10 in their opening pre-season fixture ahead of the 2020 Championship.

Neither side was at full strength, but Fax bossed the contest for long spells, with tries from James Woodburn-Hall, new back row recruit Paul Brearley and dual-registered Huddersfield winger Travis Corion sealing a morale boosting victory.

“We got out of it what we wanted to get out of it,” said Grix, who handed debuts to four of his winter signings - Brearley, former Bradford forward Matt Garside, hooker Keal Carlile and half back Tom Gilmore.

“I wanted to see some discipline, some respect for what we’ve been doing in training and being able to transfer that into a match.

“I thought we did that. We were a bit rusty, but we tried, our shape was good, I’m pretty happy.

“We tried to defend aggressively. There are some parts of the field where, while you can’t dismiss technique, you can throw your bodies in a bit more.

“That’s something we’ve been working on, and while we need to be better at it, it was a good start.

“Of the new boys, Garside probably won’t get a lot of recognition for what he did today, but he works hard; he’s just a tough, tough player.

“He’s certainly one of those that his teammates enjoy playing alongside.

“Paul did well. He found his way into the game and then did some good things, including that mismatch that Keal engineered for him when he’s carried someone over the line.

“Keal’s service was good, his service from dummy half was crisp and you can see what he’ll bring to us.

“I was happy with Gilmore as well, he took responsibility, put some good kicks in on that left side.

“I thought Hull were good.

“It doesn’t really matter about the names, but they had some blokes in there who’ve played a reasonable amount of Super League.

“They’re well drilled and well coached and they put themselves in the right places, but we dealt with them pretty well.”

The major downside to an otherwise positive afternoon was the loss of experienced forward Ben Kavanagh with a suspected dislocated hip.

There was a significant break in play before the player was stretchered from the field in obvious pain five minutes before the break.

“It took the wind out of me, to be honest,” said Grix, who was awaiting the results of hospital tests before commenting further.

“He went down awkwardly, under his own weight, and he was in a lot of pain.

“He’s gone to hospital, so we’ll get a proper diagnosis and see what we’re dealing with.”