Handforth happy in hooking role

Paul Handforth
Paul Handforth
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Halifax gamebreaker Paul Handforth has said he is “happy” to play hooker for Karl Harrison’s side ahead of Thursday night’s televised Championship showdown at Batley (7.30).

Handforth, the former Batley captain, has been Fax’s first choice half back since following Harrison to the club from Mount Pleasant at the end of 2011.

But he made an emergency switch to number nine midway through the first half of last weekend’s 18-14 win at York, scoring one try and making two more as Fax came back from 14-0 down to win and maintain their 100 per cent record after four rounds.

“I do enjoy playing there, I’m happy there,” said Handforth.

“I played a lot of my Super League rugby at hooker, but in the end I will play wherever Karl asks me to.

“When I went to nine we got the forwards moving a bit quicker and that allowed me to play on the front foot.

“We got on a bit of a roll after that and we toughed it out to get the win.

“I don’t think we have had an easy game out of the four we have played.

“Teams are upping their levels against us and making things difficult.

“When we come to the smaller fields, like York and Workington, it’s never going to be easy.”

But Handforth is well aware that Fax will need to raise their game ahead of the meeting with John Kear’s side later this week.

“With no disrespect to the teams like York and Workington and Keighley, those are games we would probably have looked at on the fixture list and expected to win,” said Handforth.

“Whereas Batley, we know they will be up there in the mix.

“You know that if you don’t show up against a team like that you are going to get turned over.

“Mentally, we can be a bit better, but we have risen to every challenge we have faced in the last month and I am sure we will do that again on Thursday night.”