Barlow: Dual reg is tough to plan against

Sam Barlow
Sam Barlow

Halifax forward Sam Barlow has admitted the unpredictability of the dual-registration system makes it “difficult” to prepare properly for Championship games.

Fax downed Swinton - who are partnered with Super League giants Warrington - 34-22 at the weekend and face Hunslet, twinned with their big city neighbours and Super League champions Leeds, at the Shay on Sunday (3.0).

In the event, the Lions, who played nine Warrington players in a single game earlier in the season, only turned up with two; centre Rhys Williams and forward James Laithwaite.

Fax boss Karl Harrison has already complained about the difficulty of planning tactics against teams likely to be bolstered by late reinforcements, a view echoed by Barlow.

“Hunslet will be a similar challenge to Swinton,” he said.

“They’ve teamed up with Leeds and under the system that’s running at the moment you just don’t know who’s going to be turning up on a Sunday.

“It does make it more difficult to prepare, for the coaches and the players.

“We didn’t who was coming from Warrington last weekend and that’s tough for us because those players do add a lot to these teams in key positions.

“It will be the same with Hunslet and that makes it hard to come up with the best gameplan.

“In the end, all we can do is concentrate on our game and try and get that in order the best we can every week.

“But it’s not an ideal situation.”

Barlow made only his second Championship start of the year against the Lions, playing two spells and scoring a first half try.

“I got a few more minutes at the weekend, which was good,” said the Scotland international, who made his seasonal debut at Batley in round five.

“I had a problem with my foot in pre-season and I always seem to start the year slowly.

“They’ve been doing some extra fitness work with me and it’s paying off; I just want to do what I can to help the teams pick up the wins now.

“I am nowhere near my best at the moment, but my form seems to come towards the end of the season, which is the way you want it I suppose.”