Grix left ‘frustrated’ as troubled Fax slip six points off the play off places

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Halifax coach Simon Grix admitted his side were “in a pretty rough spot” after they slipped further off the pace in the Championship with a 21-8 loss at Barrow on Sunday.

The Raiders, who had only won two games all season going into Sunday’s encounter, scored back to back tries in the final quarter to break a 10-8 arm wrestle and send their visitors back down the M6 empty handed.

Grix’s team, who have now lost three straight league fixtures, stayed eighth on the ladder, but are now a potentially decisive six points off the play off places.

“We’ve found ourselves in a pretty rough spot, but there’s nothing we can do about today now, we just need to move on to the next one now,” said Grix, whose side play Bradford at Odsal next Sunday (3.0).

“Today was a bit like last week at Leigh.

“We just didn’t turn up and we didn’t give ourselves a chance of matching Barrow.

“They’re a smaller pack, and I don’t think they have as much talent in their team, but when it came to the baseline stuff we just didn’t have it.

“We’d prepared well, just as we did against Leigh, then when we cross the white line on game day we just didn’t have it.

“I’m pretty frustrated, just like everyone else.

“We didn’t look too keen on running straight lines today, whereas Barrow did.

“There were too many sloppy mistakes; knock ons, penalties, seven tackle sets.

“We just invited them down to our end and when they’re running harder and stronger than you are, it was always going to make things difficult for us.

“Even when they went down to 12 men, it didn’t look like they’d gone down to 12 men.

“We are going to have turn ourselves around this week for a big game at Bradford.”

Grix made a number of changes to his team, but one player who didn’t figure was half back Ben White, who has been released from his contract in order to join the Raiders.

The former Leeds and Swinton playmaker joined Fax in the autumn, but struggled to secure a regular starting berth under both Grix and his predecessor Richard Marshall.

“Ben’s in his early 20s and at the stage of his career where needs to be playing every week and I can’t guarantee him that,” said Grix.

“We’ve got Ben Johnson coming back from injury, Reece Chapman-Smith waiting in the wings, plus the players who played today.

“Reece, at 19, it’s normal for him to be in and out of the team while he develops whereas Ben needs to be playing.

“He’ll certainly enjoy it here if he’s going to be playing behind a pack playing like that.”