Smith: Won't underestimate them
Wolves will host local rivals Widnes Vikings at The Halliwell Jones Stadium tomorrow night; head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith is hoping for an improved performance this time out.
"I thought the game (last week) was a bit scrappy. Both teams' ball handling wasn't top notch and I thought the ruck area was quite scrappy as well. There were also some new combinations; we gave some starts to some young guys and it just changed things around a little bit so there's some good reason as to why we weren't right on song. I'd like to think this week we are going to be a little bit more smooth in some of what we deliver in terms of performance."
This week's 19-man sees only one change as Tony updates us on the injury situation.
"We haven't changed too much from last week. We haven't picked up any additionals; Carvell missed out last week with a tight hamstring and pulled out on the morning of the game so we'll run our eye over him for this week. Mike Cooper's back in the fray so there's not a huge amount of change. Myler will be a little while yet; he's in a brace at the moment and will hopefully settle down in the next few weeks. Morley and Briers will be back for the St Helens game with Atkins hopefully back for the last game of the season."
This is the Wolves' first taste of Thursday night rugby so something a bit different for the players and supporters.
"It's certainly a test for us. We moved our game forward to Saturday last week to give us a little bit more recovery time; it's a tough one as we are heading into our third game in 12 days. They've earned a break after that; we'd have loved to have still been playing the week after but we've get a week off after this Thursday so the players will roll their sleeves up for the last home game then we are on the road for two tough fixtures."
Local derbies are always a highlight on the calendar and tomorrow night is expected to be no different.
"It (a derby) makes it a little more interesting particularly as Widnes beat us in our last fixture against them; their first victory over us for some time. That's still fresh in our minds and we get reminded of it regularly so it would be nice to put out a good performance. They deserved the win last time; they are a dangerous team and can score points against you. They are very capable so we won't be underestimating them and hopefully we can turn out a good, controlled performance this time round."
Round 25 is also dedicated to the State of Mind programme of which Tony is a great advocate.
"It's great that we've got an awareness for the need to support players, coaches and people involved in the game. They do have to cope with certain stresses and tests of character at times so it's nice to know there is support there. There are tremendous organisations willing to support people that are in need of help. Just the awareness players have of what other circumstances people have come up against in the past makes them a bit more at ease when things are testing them out."
Following on from this the Wolves recognise the importance of connecting with the local community and the squad trained at amateur club Crosfields earlier this week showing their support of the grassroots of our sport.
"We've had great reception wherever we've gone. At Crosfields this week the rain clouds came out and damped the session to some degree but the fans turned out in droves under their brollies and persevered with the weather. It was really heartening. We are trying to give a bit back to the community that supports us so well and we are hopefully doing that in all sorts of ways but particularly through the grassroots in the Rugby League community. In our own area we are really well received and it's good for our players to keep them grounded and make them aware of just how passionate people are of what they as players do. It's been a really good campaign."
Match tickets for tomorrow night are on sale in WolfWare and at WolfWare Online.
Warrington Wolves v Widnes Vikings, tomorrow, Thursday 15th August, 8pm, The Halliwell Jones Stadium
U19s Academy Curtain Raiser: Warrington Wolves u19s v Widnes Vikings u19s, tomorrow, Thursday 15th August, 5.30pm, The Halliwell Jones Stadium
14, Aug, 2013