Harrison: Pick any one from five

Lee Paterson touches down against Workington
Lee Paterson touches down against Workington

Halifax coach Karl Harrison has predicted any one of the Championship’s top five sides could go on to win this season’s Grand Final.

Fax kick off their play off series at second-placed Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium on Friday night (7.30) in a game likely to be screened live on Premier Sports.

Harrison’s side warmed up with a 40-18 home win over Workington on Sunday, while the Eagles, the 2012 champions, have now lost their last two fixtures, at Featherstone and Doncaster.

“I don’t think there’s a great deal between the top five teams this year,” said Harrison.

“We could go to Sheffield on Friday and put 40 points on them, or we could go there and end up with 40 points against us.

“I think it is that unpredictable at the top, with anybody capable of beating anyone else.

“Overall, Sheffield and Featherstone finished one and two so they must be favourites.

“We finished third so you’d say we are just behind them.

“We’ll just go about our business quietly this week and concentrate on producing a good performance.”

Sunday’s win over Town was Fax’s third straight victory after a miserable July, although Harrison seemed frustrated by his side’s inability to turn a big win into a crushing one.

“We played with great levels of intensity to go 18-0 up, then for whatever reason we dropped off, allowed them to score, then picked it up and scored again and so on,” he said.

“It’s been like that all season, if we’re honest, and that’s a mentality issue.

“There were some good things, but also some poor things, which we’ll discuss behind closed doors this week.

“We scored some nice tries though and for the most part we defended pretty well too.”

Fax, who had prop Luke Ambler in season’s-best form, welcomed back centre Ben Heaton after a knee problem, but were without forwards Adam Robinson and Callum Casey through injury.

Harrison also rested key trio Dane Manning, Ross Divorty and Scott Murrell long before the end of the game.

“Ambler’s had his best game for quite a well,” said Harrison.

“He played a lot of minutes too and looked very, very good.

“Murrell’s got a few issues with his body, which we’re managing, so we took him off early.

“It’s the same story with Manning and Divorty; there’s no point risking your best players when the job is done.

“Robinson’s got a calf injury, Callum Casey has an injury, we’ll see how they pull up this week.”