Halifax coach Karl Harrison labelled some of his side’s play in Thursday night’s Northern Rail Cup exit at Dewsbury as “inexcusable”.
Fax, winners of the trophy in 2012, tumbled out of this year’s edition at the first hurdle after losing 20-18 at Rams Stadium.
The match, which saw Fax trail 20-12 before setting up a grandstand finish via a late Wayne Reittie try, was notable for a rash of uncharacteristic errors from Harrison’s side, who have built their season on a low mistake rate.
“As a coach, you plan things to beat a certain team in a certain way and we have prepared extremely well for that game,” said Harrison, whose injury-hit outfit have now lost three of their last four.
“Some of the things that went on out there, you cannot legislate for.
“Some of the mistakes that individuals made were inexcusable and in the end we got what we deserved.
“The first half in particular was error strewn; players trying to do things they cannot possibly do.
“If they were capable of doing those things, they wouldn’t be at Halifax.
“All credit to Dewsbury, they took the opportunities we presented them with extremely well.
“You have to be able to defend your line when you make errors and we weren’t good enough to do that.
“I am not going to use the injuries as an excuse; we had a good enough team out there to win the game.”
Fax looked to have seized a measure of control with a try-line to try-line move that yielded a second half touchdown to the impressive Callum Casey, only for the score to be rubbed out by the video referee, who awarded a penalty to Dewsbury.
Instead of going 18-16 ahead, Fax found themselves 18-12 down.
“The video ref has seen something, but I’ve not watched the tape,” said Harrison, who admitted he was surprised by aspects of referee George Stokes’ performance, particularly a second half incident when the official appeared to forget the new rules allowing sides a ‘free play’ following an opposition error.
“There were a few strange ones (refereeing decisions), particularly the incident with the ‘free play’ that wasn’t.
“All I’d say is that fans and coaches need clarity.
“We need to know what’s going on.”