Grix challenges Halifax players to become on-field leaders

Simon Grix admitted Halifax must learn to play without their key leaders on the pitch.

Without Scott Murrell, Ben Johnston and Grix, Fax fell to a 26-16 defeat at the hands of local rivals Bradford in the first round of the Yorkshire Cup.

Concerns have been aired previously about their lack of organisation and guidance when Murrell and Grix are not on the field.

Those frailties were on show again on Sunday as Richard Marshall’s side put in a disappointing attacking display, failing to capitalise on several opportunities and lacking organisation with the ball in hand.

With both Murrell and Grix in the latter stages of their career and now part of the coaching staff, the former Warrington ace stated that players have to learn to manage games better without them.

“We’re not going to be here forever so we have to get over that,” he said.

“We’re probably used to leaning on Muzza in terms of his kicking game and organisation. We need to be better, the lads have trained in those roles and they should have performed in those roles a bit better today. But we’ll look into that.

“It’s like anything though. I remember some big names, such as Lee Briers who was a stalwart at Warrington. He left there and I think there’s still a hole there. Blake Austin might be the answer this time around but there’s been a hole there for a long time. You see at Leeds the likes of Peacock and Sinfield leaving. It will be a hole, but that’s the way it’s going to be.

“We have to get past that and groom some of these younger lads into leaders and improve their game management. I think we’re doing that steadily, but it isn’t just the pivots. The forwards have to know their roles, the backs need to know theirs and they need to know each others so they can give them that little spray when they’re not doing it.”

Grix confirmed both he and Murrell are fit while Shane Grady has returned to training following a post-season operation.

On the performance, Grix added: “It was ordinary at best.

“We didn’t respect the ball, we didn’t kick very well. We weren’t very fluent with the ball which we’re disappointed with because we have been practising that.

“But we did have some young lads in there in the halfbacks. Jordan Syme played a good proportion of the game there and he’s not really a halfback. We lost the energy battle by coughing up too much ball.”