Halifax coach Richard Marshall singled out his three-try loose forward Ed Barber for praise after his side notched their fourth Championship win of the year against Dewsbury at the Shay.
Fax ran out 26-0 winners over Lee Greenwood’s team in appalling conditions, with Barber - replacing the injured Simon Grix - adding the try scoring polish to a hugely improved team performance.
The former Elland amateur was absent from the side that beat Swinton last week following the death of his father, but returned with a devastating performance against the Rams.
“Ed’s been great; he’s had some adversity to overcome,” said Marshall.
“His father passed away last week and we wish Ed and his family all the best.
“His dad was a great bloke and someone I knew I could go to after every game and get an honest appraisal of the team’s performance and his son’s performance too.
“He would have been proud of Ed today, as we all are; he didn’t have to play, but he did and he played really well for his team.
“He’s just reminded me that the last time he scored a hat trick I dropped him the following week, but I don’t think I’ll be dropping him next week.”
Marshall was predictably happy with his side’s response to their sub-par performance against the Lions a week earlier, with an upturn in attitude and tactical awareness meaning the Rams were never in the game.
“We won last week, but we weren’t happy with the way we won,” said Marshall.
“Today, we ticked a lot of the boxes that the coaching staff had questioned the players about during the week.
“Dewsbury are a strong side, they had some young boys in on loan from Leeds and Wigan and they’re tough to play against.
“I thought our kicking game was miles better that it was against Swinton, I think we got six, maybe seven, repeat sets.
“We started early on, and although we didn’t score we didn’t have to; we built pressure and took some energy out of them.
“And the conditions, wow. They were certainly a leveller.
“The players evolved the game plan as the game went on and the conditions worsened; you have to adapt and we did.
“We were on today and we just need to recapture that attitude over the next month or so.”
Marshall made a significant tactical decision before kick off, leaving out major close-season recruit Quentin Laulu-Togagae and bringing in the former Leeds junior Reece Chapman-Smith for his first start.
“Reece did his job really well,” said Marshall, whose side now head to York next Sunday (3.0).
“It wasn’t the conditions where we’re going to see the best of him going forward, but he took his catches well, he took some pressure off his forwards and really contributed.
“He slotted in at half back after Ben Johnston went off with a dead leg in the second half and I feel we’ve a bright future with Reece.
“Q was fit, he wasn’t selected; we just felt that Reece had been really good in the week.
“Q handled it really well, which is what I’d expect from a really good professional.
“He’s helped Reece out which is what we’re about; a team first mentality.
“We’ve got some headaches coming up in terms of selecting the team.”