Harrison: We should have been out of sight

Halifax coach Karl Harrison felt his side should have been out of sight at half time in last night’s Co-operative Championship play off clash with Keighley.

Fax dominated long stretches of the first 40 and were leading 16-6 as half time approached.

But a Paul March score on the stroke of half time threw Keighley a lifeline and Fax eventually needed a last-minute score from centre Lee Paterson - after a moment of magic from half back Paul Handforth - to set up a showdown with either Batley or Sheffield a week on Sunday.

“I felt it could and probably should have been won in that first half,” said Harrison.

“We are probably the best team in the competition at releasing pressure on teams rather than building it.

“It’s not a one-off; we haven’t been ruthless all season and it’s something we need to find in the next three weeks.

“In the end, we needed a smart individual play from Handforth to win it.

“We have trained particularly well all week, but that was a frustrating game to watch as a coach.

“I said it was going to be tough and I was concerned by the number of players we had available in the end.

“Ben Heaton was injured, Tonks hurt his arm, we had a blood bin early on, Gannon was hurt, Makali was hurt, Barlow had his head bandaged; it was a tough game and we did well in the end.

“Overall, we need to be better than that.

“Defensively, we were soft at times and we’ll be reviewing that over the next few days.

Harrison went into the game with utility player Callum Casey and centre Ben Heaton filling the back row spots after Adam Robinson and Ross Divorty both failed to make the cut because of injury.

“Robinson hurt his ankle against Batley which ruled him out, but I’m disappointed Divorty didn’t play,” admitted Harrison.

“We think he’s ready, but it’s not my body and he’s had a bad ankle injury.

“He didn’t feel that he could push through and play, but we’re getting to the bare bones now.

“We’ve 10 days now before the next game and we’ll try and recover some bodies.”