Mixed feelings for coach Harrison

Actions from the game, Fax v Barrow at the Shay.
Actions from the game, Fax v Barrow at the Shay.

Fax coach Karl Harrison admitted to having mixed feelings after watching his side get their Championship campaign back on track with a 56-30 victory over lowly Barrow at the Shay.

Harrison was delighted at gaining the three points while also purring over the quality of some of his side’s 10 tries.

However, on the flip side, the former Great Britain forward was extremely unhappy at shipping 30 points.

Harrison accused his players of being ‘soft’, notably in the first half when Barrow had the temerity to hold an 18-16 lead.

It was a lead they thoroughly deserved after a determined display. Whatever Harrison said to his players at the break certainly worked as they left Barrow shell-shocked during the early stages of the second half.

Unfortunately, they lost their shape again close to the end which allowed the visitors to post two late scores - a lapse which Harrison found unacceptable.

“I don’t like a game of basketball where we have the ball and score and then they have the ball and score. That’s not rugby league,” said Harrison.

“Today I thought we were extremely soft defensively in conceding 30 points and that is not acceptable.

“Yes, we scored some nice tries. There are two parts of the game as a coach and I was impressed with the second half.

“But you also have to give credit to Barrow who also scored some nice tries.

“A lot of those tries were defendable. If some people had been a bit more intense in their performance then they wouldn’t have scored 30 points.

“Overall, really happy with the three points but our defensive game needs some work.”

Harrison will now turn his attention to Friday’s Challenge Cup fifth round clash with Sheffield. However, a signficant part of that attention is certain to be centred on the treatment room.

Fax will be without Luke Adamson while Rikki Sheriffe and Steve Tyrer will face fitness tests during the week.

Forward Iain Morrison had been tipped to return against Barrow but wasn’t even in the squad. Harrison has suggested he will play a part against Sheffield

“Luke Adamson broke his hand which means he is going to be out for a while,” said Harrison. “Rikki Sheriffe has tweaked his Achilles and we brought Steve Tyrer off as a precaution.”