Smith: The beauty of the Cup
With just a few days until the Wolves get their Tetley's Challenge Cup campaign underway, head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith reflects on last weekend's performance and ahead to the trip to Keighley.
The Wolves secured victory away at Wakefield making recognisable improvements from the week before but with plenty still to work on.
"There are still some aspects we'd like to be better at but at the same time I don't want to be disrespectful to Wakefield, quite the opposite actually. Wakefield are a difficult team to play, particularly when they've got the ball. They've got some very experienced players who know how to attack. They'll beat many a team at their place in particular; it's not an easy place to go and play.
"There was certainly some improvement in our attack last week. I thought there were some terrific tries scored and passages of play that looked more familiar to us than probably has been in the last few weeks. We still want to make some improvements but we are not too far off. I feel some people think we are way off from where we've been in the past but for the last two years, I think, we've been sitting in fourth position at this time of the year after round 12. We would like to be a little further up but there's still a long way to go and hopefully we can improve over the coming weeks."
With the Cup competition now getting underway for the Super League clubs it will be another test of teams' depth of squads.
"We won't be testing our depth too much this weekend. We'll probably have one new face in terms of somebody who hasn't had any Super League experience and that's Danny Bridge who will come into the picture for this week. Another couple of names that may get an opportunity are Tyrone McCarthy as well as Gareth O'Brien and Rhys Williams. We haven't selected teams as of yet. We aren't taking too many chances. We need to go there and get the job done. We won't play anyone who is carrying a niggling injury and unfortunately Lee Briers isn't going to make it for the game. We were hoping that he would be able to make it back for this game but he's got a little niggle in his calf while trying to get himself back fit and healthy in a short period of time as he's been so restricted because of his neck. He won't be too far away though."
The Cup competition brings its own challenges as Super League and Championship clubs go head-to-head.
"That's the beauty of the Cup. There's always an upset or two, hopefully it won't be us with the upset. Each year there's one or two teams from the division below that upsets one of the top teams. That's what this competition is about; it's about taking care of each and every week and making sure you do the job no matter who you are playing. We've been pretty good at that in previous years but we certainly won't take anything for granted.
"The challenges of going to Keighley and their ground and changing rooms are different and we look forward to going there having experienced it before and knowing a little bit more than we did last time. They are dangerous games; teams from the lower division grow a leg or two with nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. We are well aware of that and have some game-time footage of Keighley. We will do our homework as we always do. We won't be as familiar with the players as we are of Super League teams, there is still a bit of the unknown quantity."
Tickets can be purchased from WolfWare Online, the WolfWare shop at the stadium (Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm) or by calling the ticket office on 08448 11 11 76 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).
Team News out tomorrow afternoon. Watch this space on warringtonwolves.com, @wolvesrl and http://www.facebook.com/warringtonwolvesrugby
18, Apr, 2013