Smith: Experience Counts
Wolves will get their play-off campaign underway at The Halliwell Jones Stadium this Saturday afternoon on the back of two strong wins on the road.
Head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith looks back at the recent performance against the Dragons.
"They were testing conditions. It was a really good build-up for the finals. We handled the conditions and I thought we defended really well; we played tough and physically we were very good. I'm pleased with our tactics in the game too in terms of the kicking game and turning our opponents around. I thought we handled it all very well."
This weekend the Wolves will host current Champions Leeds Rhinos and the game has been earmarked as another match too close to call.
"You take the experiences of the season into the finals and we've had some really tough matches against Leeds this year; we are one apiece and they've been really exciting games. We are expecting another exciting, high quality game against a very experienced team in the playoffs. We'd like to think that we've learnt a bit from the play-offs last year and will take that into account which will hopefully stand us in good stead.
"We love playing at the Halliwell Jones with the atmosphere here and it should be pumping on Saturday at 3pm. I'm sure you'll be right behind us and it'll be a great atmosphere."
The squad is currently in great shape giving Tony numerous options going into the business end of the season.
"The only one not available is likely to be Richie Myler but he's not too far off; we might be able to have him back in a little while too. Aside from him everyone seems in pretty good shape; we've got a couple of bumps and bruises from the weekend that we'll assess but I'm expecting pretty much a full squad to choose from."
With the regular season now complete Tony reflects on the side's consistent season so far and to the forthcoming play-off series.
"As we look ahead to the finals series we've got to earn the right each week; we can't get too far ahead of ourselves. Last year's experience was great and I think we'll have learnt a lot from that if we get the chance to get there and have another go at it but we are certainly not using last year's defeat as motivation; nothing will change last year's result. We are very proud of what we achieved but it's all about this year now; the experience that you gain from games like that can be carried over and hopefully we'll have learnt some lessons.
"We missed out on the League Leaders Shield by one point last year and have done the same again this year. We came second in defence by one point and second in offence by about 15 points so we are up there in all those categories again which shows we are now one of those consistent clubs. We probably weren't perceived that way some years ago we've now made it into that category and we want to keep that going as best we can."
Match tickets are on sale in WolfWare, WolfWare Online and on 08448 11 11 76 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
Tickets will be charged at standard pre-match prices with junior tickets throughout the ground at £5, please note that normal ticket prices will be operation on the day of the game.
11, Sep, 2013