Forwards won it for us, says Fax boss Karl

Andy Bracek, Tony Tonks and Scott Murrell lead the defensive effort
Andy Bracek, Tony Tonks and Scott Murrell lead the defensive effort

Halifax coach Karl Harrison lauded his new-look pack after his side scored an 18-10 opening night Championship win over champions Sheffield.

Two of Harrison’s close-season signings - prop Andy Bracek and loose forward Scott Murrell - turned in excellent performances as Fax dominated for long-stretches before clinching victory with a late Paul Handforth penalty.

“It was a tough game on a tough field,” said Harrison.

“Both sides gave everything they had and I thought in the end we were the best team.

“If anything, I thought the performance was better than the scoreline suggests.

“Murrell played well and that new three pivot system with Handforth and Anthony Thackeray will get better with time.

“I thought the Ashall brothers handed the hooking role pretty well too.

“But the front rowers were fantastic; Bracek, Ambler, Tonks Robinson, and young Davies until he got injured.”

Harrison identified his side’s patience as being a major factor, especially in a nip and tuck second half, with Handforth’s late penalty the only points scored by either side after the break.

“We have spoken all pre season about being more patient,” said Harrison.

“We came with that mindset tonight and in those conditions against that team that was exactly what we needed to do.

“The pitch is pretty bad; they played football on it on Wednesday and the water was over the top of your shoes in and around the centre circle.

“You don’t win anything on the first day of the season but what you can do is send out a message about your attitude and your approach and I thought we did that.”