By Stephen Ibbetson
Halifax RLFC Reserves coach Martin Gonzalez says that he is proud of the effort shown by his side in Wednesday night’s loss to Wigan Warriors at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Despite eventually going down 22-6, Gonzalez praised the character of his players in competing against prestigious opponents.
“I’m very proud of the fact they’ve battled through 80 minutes, competed, scrambled when they’ve had to scramble, and gone up against a full-time side,” said Gonzalez.
“We just need to work on some of the finer skills and decision making so that we just get a little bit better and turn these battling performances into results.”
The Wigan line-up featured a number of players with Super League experience, but Gonzalez believes that his side have quality as well.
“There are some small aspects of the game that make a big difference and that Wigan did better than us today, and that’s why our lads are a bit behind those lads and need to improve, but there’s some decent quality amongst our group as well,” he continued.
“We’ve got some good lads here and prospects that hopefully will become first team players at Halifax in the future and will develop into fine players themselves.
“We’re pretty pleased that we’ve got a good strong crop of players here at the club and we’re trying to make the very best of them.”
Frazer Morris took the Man of the Match award and Gonzalez believes that he is pushing for a place in the first team.
“Frazer’s pushing; he wants a first team spot. He needs these opportunities to show what he’s capable of and stake a claim, and I think he’s done all that he can by putting in a strong performance,” added Gonzalez.
“That puts pressure on the blokes in the first team to make sure that their performances stay good, and if they don’t then Rich (Marshall) has seen that he’s in pretty good form and ready for an opportunity when one presents itself.”
Gonzalez was also pleased with the effort shown by some of the first-team players who appeared.
“We’ve got some fantastic senior players at this club. I can tell you honestly anytime any of them come down and play in the reserves they’re brilliant with the rest of the boys, talking them through what to do, leading by example as well, giving them little coaching points on the field whilst the game’s going on.
“Danny (Fleming) did 50 minutes without a break today, Woody (James Woodburn-Hall) has played 60 minutes coming back from injury which is brilliant, and Ed Barber, who’s had a bit of an injury himself, has done a good, solid 60 minutes for us as well.”