Grix sounds Cup warning as Fax ‘dreadfully’ exposed by Bulldogs

editorial image

Simon Grix warned his players no one “owns” their place for next weekend’s Challenge Cup quarter final against Bradford after his side slipped on a Championship banana skin at Batley.

A sub-par Fax went down 24-16 at Mount Pleasant, losing ground in the race for a top five finish and leaving Grix - confirmed as the club’s long-term coach in midweek after a four-from-four run as caretaker - to mull over a first loss.

“Batley were very good; they did all the little things that we need to be doing,” said Grix, who will take his side to Odsal for a derby that will be screened live on the BBC.

“They ran harder than us, tackled harder than us and had more purpose in everything they did.

“To put it plainly, I thought we looked like we thought we just had to turn up to take the points today.

“Were they (the players) focusing on next week? I hope not, because we’ve talked about it enough.

“Nobody owns their shirt or their spot for next week.

“We’ve won a couple of games, but there are some issues and problems with how we’re playing - individually and collectively - and they were exposed dreadfully today.

“I’m not going to single anyone out, but instead of having one or two players not having a good day, we maybe had 10, which doesn’t give us a chance.

“The people who go on the field have a job to do, that doesn’t change according to the opposition, and they didn’t do it today, it’s as simple as that.

“You work on a plan through the week at three sessions, but people only see the fourth session on a Sunday.

“If we apply ourselves better at the other sessions, we’ll be a good chance every week.

“There are some things we need to sort out, and I’m not going to spell those out because people can see most of them, but it is what it is now; we come in on Tuesday and get ready to go again at Bradford.”

Fax were without a handful of frontline players, with Ed Barber, Ben Kaye, Ben Kavanagh and Quentin Laulu-Togagae all missing, while James Woodburn-Hall and James Saltonstall both played for Hunslet on dual-registration.

Cook Islands forward Adam Tangata made his comeback from long term injury, while young Huddersfield forward Jon Luke Kirby made a strong debut at the start of his loan deal.

“It’s good to have Adam back; he played pretty tough and probably played more minutes than I expected him to,” said Grix.

“When you come back from an injury like that, if the team is playing brilliantly, it’s a lot easier.

“Whereas coming in when we’re playing like that, it makes it a lot harder.

“I thought he did well considered, as did Jon.

“The players who didn’t play were all injured, hopefully nothing too serious, but they couldn’t train properly last week.

“We want everyone who’s playing to be doing everything at the back end of the week and they weren’t able to, so we made some changes.

“If people aren’t fit, they aren’t playing.”