Monaghan: Massive weekend for us
Wolves’ Joel Monaghan has seven tries under his belt already this season. As we head into the busy Easter period we catch-up with the Aussie winger about last weekend’s Arctic encounter and ahead to the Vikings and Broncos fixtures.
Last Friday the Wolves secured a win over the current league leaders Huddersfield to edge to within one point but the conditions certainly tested both sides.
“Obviously it was a long day with an eight o’clock kick-off - sitting watching snow out of your window all day isn’t ideal but once the game started it was actually quite enjoyable to play in. It was one of those games you’ll remember with the conditions and the way we played. I quite enjoyed it to be honest.
“We needed to claw back some points after those two losses in a row and they were three points clear of us so it was a massive game for us. I think in those conditions and the way we played it was performance that will bring our team closer together. To hold the current league leaders try-less showed great defence and was a very good win (for us).”
Recent weeks have seen head coach Tony Smith commend the team’s defence and this is one area Joel and his teammates feel is improving.
“In the past we’ve won games on our attack - we’ve let teams score some easy points against us and we’ve backed our attack to beat them. But this year we’ve won some of the big games, against the big teams, and it’s our defence that’s won those for us. It’s something we looked at, at the start of the year, as we needed to improve – we’ve had a few glitches with a few losses in a row but all in all I think our defence is now a lot better.”
Now for the challenging Easter period with the Vikings on Good Friday and London on Monday.
“The schedule this year is probably in our favour – last year we had to travel to France during that break which is as tough on the body as it can be – we’ve pretty much got two home games with Widnes just up the road and then the home game here against London. The schedule works for us so there’s no excuses as everyone’s got to do it. Hopefully we can get through Friday, get a win and then turn our attention to Monday, but I think Friday will be our big one.
“I’ve been speaking to a few fans and they can’t wait. They see it (Widnes) as a big game. I remember sitting at the game last year, as I wasn’t playing, I quite enjoyed the atmosphere with the crowds singing and chanting to each other. This year I’ll get to play in it so hopefully it’s a good atmosphere and we can get the win.”
Looking at the Vikings squad Joel is expecting challenges from all over the park.
“I think Gareth Hock will be back for them - he missed last week. When he plays they lift; the players around him. They’ve got some good strike across the board. They don’t mind throwing the ball around too so it should be a good game.”
Easter weekend is a pivotal moment in the season. Joel said: “It would be great to get two wins. If you look at the table there are a lot of teams on the same points so we see it as a massive weekend for us, one where we can kick-start our season again and keep the momentum going that we’ve built up over the last couple of games. Hopefully we don’t get any niggling injuries and most of the players can back up. With the young blokes we’ve got in our squad we are in a good position to play the two games in four days.”
Tickets for Friday's game against Widnes will come offline at midnight tonight. They will remain on sale in WolfWare tomorrow (Thursday) until 5pm. Ticket prices go up on Friday so we advise people to buy them in advance.
Match tickets for the London home game remain on sale in WolfWare (until 5pm Saturday) - Please note: WolfWare will be closed on Good Friday and at WolfWare Online (until midnight Friday).
27, Mar, 2013