Murrell withdrawal was a blow - Harrison

Share this article

Halifax coach Karl Harrison wasn’t looking for excuses after the 28-12 defeat to Sheffield Eagles that put his team out of the Challenge Cup.

“We started the game slowly and we were 10-0 down in the first five minutes which didn’t help,” he said.

“There were too many mistakes, too many poor performances. I thought we tried really hard but it wasn’t to be.”

He added: “Decision making by some of the players – poor, very poor. A few people under-performed tonight.”

Harrison pointed to having to decide shortly before the kick-off to leave out key playmaker Scott Murrell with a hamstring injury.

“We were not quite at our best tonight but I don’t think we were far off. The loss of Scott Murrell before kick-off didn’t help,” he said.

“We decided not to play him just before the game. He wasn’t fit so we had to reorganise.”

Fax had possession for much of the first half but at the interval their only points had come from a last minute penalty goal.

Harrison felt his team might have come back but wasn’t happy with some decision that went the way of Sheffield at crucial moments.

“There were a few momentum changes in the game that were out of our hands,” he said.

“Decisions that changed the momentum that we couldn’t do anything about.”

He added: “We had trained particularly well all week for this game but the start killed us.

“In the end we could have got back but a couple of decisions were beyond me but no complaints, the best team won.

“Dane Manning was outstanding. The team tried, they never gave up but a few players weren’t quite at the races.

“You are playing the champions and Sheffield are the champions for a reason - they just know how to score tries when it matters and that’s what they did.”

Harrison now has to prepare the team for the start of their defence of the Northern Rail Cup at Dewsbury next week and he knows the players will be keen to bounce back.

He said: “It’s their trophy and they’ll want to keep it. Hopefully we can get a few people back on the field. We are extremely light on numbers but that’s not an excuse, we still had enough people out there to do a job tonight.”