HALIFAX boss Matt Calland admitted he would have accepted a win of any kind after his side opened their Co-operative Championship account for 2011 with a 56-24 thrashing of Dewsbury at the Shay yesterday.
Fax, inspired by captain Sean Penkywicz, were never in danger against the Rams as they bounced back from Thursday’s loss at Widnes with a 10-try romp.
Penkywicz and Australian centre Dylan Nash both scored twice, with loose forward Sam Barlow racking up a hat trick.
“I would have taken a victory by one point, so we are really pleased with that,” said Calland, who made half a dozen changes to the side that lost at the Halton Stadium.
“Hopefully that will give us some confidence now.
“I just told the players to go out there and enjoy it and I thought they responded pretty well.
“They came up trumps when we needed them to although there was still a lot to work on.
“We had done a lot of work on our ruck defence, which paid dividends for us.
“We know how Dewsbury play and we worked hard to counteract that.
“Nash and Barlow both went well and Graham Holroyd kicked very well.
“When you’re ending your sets with good kicks it makes a massive difference.”
The afternoon ended on a questionable note, with the Rams - sterile going forward for the majority of the afternoon - somehow posting three tries in the last four minutes.
“What didn’t please me was the way we let those three soft tries in at the end, that blunted things a little bit, but like I said the win was the most important thing,” said Calland, who will now give his players a break ahead of next Sunday’s home clash with 2009 Grand Final foes Barrow.
“To be fair, we only had 13 fit bodies for that second half.
“Jon Goddard has a rib injury, Paul Smith went off, Makali Aizue went off and Ben Black hurt the hamstring at the back of his knee, so we were struggling for numbers.
“We will assess them all through the week, but there are lot of sore players in that dressing room.
“They need a rest so they will get a couple of days off now and then we will come back in on Thursday and start preparing for Barrow on Sunday.”
lReport - pages 26-27