By Jacob Kilbride | Article photo by Simon Hall
Simon Grix insisted there plenty of areas to improve upon following yesterday’s 26-16 defeat to Bradford Bulls at Odsal.
Defeat for Halifax means they fell out of the Yorkshire Cup at the first hurdle, though key players Grix, Scott Murrell and Ben Johnston were all missing from the squad.
“I thought that we were ordinary at best really,” said back rower and assistant coach Grix who took over the press duties.
“We didn’t respect the ball, we didn’t play very well. We’ve got a few recognised players missing, as have Bradford, though I thought we probably made that show more than Bradford did.”
“We weren’t very fluent with the ball, which was disappointing as we’ve been practising that a lot in training.
“But, we had a few young lads in there, particularly our half-backs (Adam Brook and James Woodburn-Hall) and Jordan Syme played a good portion of the game there as a utility player. He stepped in at half-back which isn’t really his position but he did a good job there.”
“I’m not sure you can read too much into pre-season results. We’ll obviously look in detail at the performance this week. Our season starts on February 3rd so our aim has to be to peak for that game when we go away to Widnes.”
“But, you always want to beat your local rivals in Bradford and it’s nice that the local rivalry resumes this year. Fortunately for us, there was no points on offer today.”
Despite the loss, the Halifax fans watched off-season signings Ben Kavanagh, Shaun Robinson, Kevin Larroyer for the first time, and Grix was pleased with their contributions.
“All of the new signings have been positive additions to the group and they’re all good blokes as well, which is important,” he added.
“Kev (Larroyer) got through a lot of work today, though as we were defending for large periods, we didn’t see some of his best attributes. Robbo (Shaun Robinson) was good, he kept himself busy and he came in off the wing numerous times.
“We know all about QLT (Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e) of course and showed some good touches as well. (Ben) Kavanagh showed some good variety in his game with his footwork and his pass out of the back, his experience will help us.”
“At the end of the day, it’s a pre-season game. We’ve some fitness out of today’s game and the areas that we didn’t perform so well in, we’ll look at during training in the coming weeks. We’ve got a lot to take away from it.”