Harrison: Divorty could struggle to make play off line up

Ross Divorty
Ross Divorty

Karl Harrison has tipped Wales international back rower Ross Divorty to be fit for Thursday’s Co-operative Championship play off date with Keighley.

But the Halifax coach believes it could be difficult for the former Featherstone player to force his way into the side that beat Batley 26-20 to secure a third-place finish last weekend.

Divorty, the son of Harrison’s former Fax teammate Gary, has endured an injury-plagued first season at the Shay, with back and ankle problems limiting his impact.

“Ross didn’t think he was ready to play against Batley, although the coaching staff felt he was,” said Harrison, who paired Adam Robinson - who was also returning from injury - and Ben Heaton in the back row against the Bulldogs, with the utility player Callum Casey turning in an impressive cameo from the bench.

“It was his call not to be included, and although it’s understandable after the setbacks he has had this year, I think he might have given himself a problem for the Keighley game.

“Robbo will be better for having had a game, Heaton did pretty well and I thought young Callum gave us a different dimension when he came on.

“I am not saying Ross won’t play, but he has made it difficult for himself at this stage.”

One player who is likely to force his way back into the side is winger Wayne Reittie.

Reittie, who had missed the previous three matches, was fit to play against the Bulldogs but was omitted in favour of Paul White.

“I’m not sure that Whitey had his best game and Wayne is certainly going to put him under pressure,” said Harrison.

“He was very disappointed not to play at the weekend.”

Harrison also confirmed that Fax have made a contract offer to captain and hooker Sean Penkywicz.

Penkywicz’s name has been conspicuous by its absence as the list of players contracted for next season and beyond has lengthened in recent weeks.

The Leigh-based player, who turned professional with Fax as a 16 year old, has been linked with his hometown club on an almost annual basis, although reigning Championship champions Featherstone are also rumoured to be keen on the attacking livewire.

“Sean has been offered a very good contract and we would like him to stay,” said Harrison

“It is down to Sean now and what he wants to do, but he has to want to be here for the right reasons.

“The ball is in his court now.”