Harrison: York win was hard earned

Rikki Sheriffe soars to score the winning try
Rikki Sheriffe soars to score the winning try

Halifax coach Karl Harrison praised his side’s ability to “grind out a tough result” after they edged past York at the Shay on Sunday.

Fax, playing their first game since losing to Featherstone more than a fortnight ago, stay third in the Championship after a gritty rather than spectacular 18-16 success ahead of Wednesday night’s trip to Leigh (7.30).

But with leaders Rovers suffering a shock reverse against Swinton, Harrison’s side are now only two points off the pace.

“We were a bit nervous and a bit anxious after the Featherstone loss, which I think did have an effect on us and we’ll be better for having got that out of the way,” said Harrison, whose side led 12-10 at the break but came back from 16-12 down to clinch the win with a Rikki Sheriffe touchdown.

“We ground out a really tough result, even after putting down three or four tries we would normally have scored.

“You have to earn the right to win a game and I think you have to give credit to York.

“They came with a plan, shut our big players down and did it really, really well for long periods.

“We found it very hard in the first half because we weren’t finishing our sequences off.

“There was a lot of cheap turnover ball and you can’t play like that and expect to be successful.

“The conditions were tricky, it was greasy and the balls we are using this season aren’t great in the wet; I think the amount of ball York spilled shows that as well.

“In the end, it was a really good win for us.”

Harrison made a number of changes to his side, with captain Scott Murrell returning after a fortnight’s lay off with a broken hand.

Backs Steve Tyrer and Ryan Fieldhouse were both omitted, despite Harrison confirming they were fit to play, while key forward Adam Robinson was left out as a precaution ahead of the trip to the LSV.

“Robinson had a back injury; he was fit to play but hasn’t trained all week so we decided not to risk him,” said Harrison.