Grix upbeat despite loss in Toronto

Simon Grix
Simon Grix

Halifax coach Simon Grix said he was “pretty happy” with aspects of his side’s performance in Sunday’s 34-12 loss in Toronto.

Fax travelled to Canada amid a five-game losing run and with low expectations of upsetting Brian McDermott’s expensively-assembled Championship leaders.

They trailed 28-0 at one stage in the second half in sweltering conditions, before tries from Liam Cooper and Ben Johnston gave them some reward for their afternoon’s efforts.

“I was pretty happy with what we did, performance wise,” said Grix, who believed the weather played a part in a high error count from both teams.

“We did come up with a lot of mistakes, but then so did Toronto.

“I think the heat played a part in that; it was very, very hot and the plastic pitch reflects that heat back at you.

“We lost Kevin Larroyer at half time with what looked like heat stroke, so that tells you how warm it was.

“The desire was certainly there though, the boys tried really, really hard against a team that probably cost four times as much as ours to put together.

“I’m not sure the scoreline really reflected the game; I thought we competed very well for long spells.

“Honestly, I can’t see too many teams going over there and winning at our level.”

Grix gave chances to young full back Reece Chapman-Smith and Wales back rower Connor Davies, who are both expected to play more prominent roles in 2020.

“Connor and Reece both got some good minutes in,” said Grix, whose side were due to fly back into the UK today ahead of Sunday’s game against Widnes at the Shay (3.0).

“Reece did pretty well in what is a key position, which was definitely a positive for us.

“Overall, it was a positive experience for us.”