Harrison’s delight as Fax get back on track

Halifax coach Karl Harrison was full of praise for his side after watching them produce a sensational second half comeback at Sheffield to book their place in the Northern Rail Cup final at the end of this month.

Fax, who will face Featherstone in the Bloomfield Road decider, turned an 18-4 half time deficit into a 24-18 lead at the Don Valley Stadium.

And although Michael Knowles’ late try gave Eagles stand off Simon Brown the chance to send the game into extra time, the ball drifted wide of the uprights to leave Fax with a 24-22 success and the chance to get ready for a second NRC final appearance in two years.

“We just needed to be smarter in the second half,” said Harrison, who won the 2010 edition of the competition with Batley.

“I have been saying for a few weeks now, you can’t play two tackle rugby league.

“We were turning the ball over far too cheaply and when we did get to the end of a sequence we weren’t positive enough.

“We needed to be more direct, more patient and play the field better and we did that in the second half.

“We were outstanding in defence and showed a bit of creativity.

“There were some changes at half time, but the biggest difference was that some of our players came to the party in the second half and played to their potential.

“There are three trophies and we’ve got a chance to go and win one now.

“We’re in a two horse race and while we’ll need to improve, because Featherstone are on fire at the moment, but we’ve got three weeks to smarten up and hopefully get a few bodies back.

“I’m really pleased for everyone.”

Fax’s victory was achieved despite a raft of fresh injury problems, with prop Luke Ambler apparently the most serious with a first half knee problem.

“We had a few injuries out there; we lost Ambler, Lee Paterson and Rob Worrincy had an injury.

“I thought Dane Manning was absolutely outstanding out there, the best player on the field.

“Anthony Bowman and Callum Casey went out there together on that right hand side late on and both kids did pretty well.”