Johnston: I tried to make most of full back chance

Ben Johnston lurks out wide as Richard Moore takes the ball forward
Ben Johnston lurks out wide as Richard Moore takes the ball forward

Halifax’s young playmaker Ben Johnston described Sunday’s 24-12 loss to Featherstone as a “whirlwind” as he went from non-playing reserve to the unfamiliar role of full back in less than an hour.

Johnston, who played in the opening day win at Whitehaven before missing the next two fixtures, came on to the bench after hooker Ben Kaye injured his thumb in the warm up.

And when Miles Greenwood was stretchered off with a broken leg after eight minutes, the former Castleford player was pitched into action at full back.

“It was nice to get the opportunity to play,” said Johnston, who went on to figure at hooker and finally half back as Fax tried to chase the game from 10-0 down.

“It was thrown upon me at the last minute and it was a bit of a whirlwind really.

“You have to prepare as if you’re going to play and it was exciting to get out there again.

“I made my Super League debut for Castleford at full back, but I’d not played there at all before that, so I’m a bit of a novice in that area.

“There are always elements you feel you could have done better, so I’ll just keep working hard and hope there’s another opportunity for me soon.

“I wouldn’t mind playing there again if Rich wants me to; I just want to play and I’ll do whatever is best for the team.”

While Johnston’s own performance was solid, Fax’s collective showing was a mixed bag as Rovers hung on to claim a precious victory.

“We let ourselves down a bit, we’re a better team than we showed on Sunday,” said Johnston, who looks to have done enough to keep his place for Sunday’s Shay date with Dewsbury (3.0).

“It’s up to us to get a big week in training now and bounce back against Dewsbury.

“We can’t go into our shells this week, we’re disappointed, but there’s a lot of positive talk in that changing room.

“We believe we’re better than that and we’ll be under pressure to go out and show that.”