Smith: Exciting time of year
Game day has arrived and Wolves' head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith talked to WolvesTV in the build-up to tonight's semi final game against the Huddersfield Giants.
Tonight at 8pm the Wolves and Giants will go head-to-head, battling it out for a coveted place in the Grand Final.
Smith said: "It's one versus two and we are looking forward to it; it's a big challenge. I think our board did a good job in terms of their thought process in who we chose - meaning out of that first game - we knew that we could narrow it down to one of two teams either Hull or Huddersfield. It gave the coaching staff and playing staff the maximum time to prepare for our opponents this week. Whoever we chose as a club it was going to be a difficult game and as it turns out it would have been either Huddersfield or Leeds and both are highly competitive teams; Leeds for their experience and Huddersfield for their recent form.
"Huddersfield came first across the line and worked hard for that and showed they've got consistency in their performances. They did well in the regular season but we weren't far behind them; we were pressing them by the final stretch but they managed to stay ahead of us and now it's down to the finals series. It's an exciting time of year for teams to play under pressure."
Having won their opening play-off game against the Rhinos the Wolves earned themselves a week off from fixtures and used that time wisely in preparation for tonight's match.
"We gave our players some time to recoup from a really tough physical game against Leeds. We did that early after the game and then worked all last weekend as we are trying to keep a bit of our momentum going. We had a workout against some of our younger guys at the club and that was good for us on Saturday in a mock game. We are in a pretty good condition at the moment and a good bill of health so we are choosing from a pretty strong squad for this week."
With prize still up for grabs and the main event just over a week away it would be easy to get swept up in it all by Smith insists on staying focussed.
"We are not looking any further ahead than Huddersfield. It's all about handling the day, executing well and playing good Rugby League for this time of year; and that's what we are focusing on. Everybody understands what the ramifications are of a good performance and a bad performance but we are focused on preparing for a very good one this week."
The team has built on their play-off success year on year and this experience will play a small part tonight.
"Everyone has experienced it. That's one of the advantages of not changing your squad too often! The experiences that they gain can be helpful for the year ahead but it also helps in terms of how to play this style of Rugby League that which needs to be played at this time of year, under these sorts of pressures. I hope it is of benefit but I hope it is also inspiring for the players to get a taste of what we did last year and then want some more."
Have you got your ticket for tonight's match?
"It's a great atmosphere when this place is full. Get down behind us and hopefully we can repay the great support we've had all year with a good performance. Hopefully it's one that gets the crowd right behind us.
"We will also have presentations to some of players who will be playing in Warrington colours for the last time at home - hopefully it won't be their final game in Warrington colours - they'll say their farewells from their home ground and we would encourage all fans to stay behind after the game."
WolfWare will be open from 9am to 8pm. Tickets will be on sale in store until 5pm.
Ticket office windows for collection (1-2) and purchasing (3-6) will then open at 5pm with turnstiles opening at 6.30pm. Cash turnstiles on South and West.
Standard match-day prices will be in operation for all today.
26, Sep, 2013