Smith: Building In Confidence
Wolves travel to the KC Stadium this weekend to face their first of two tests against Humberside teams.
This fixture against Hull FC follows on from the Wolves' bruising encounter last weekend against the Dragons.
Head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith said on his side's last outing: "It certainly was tough and physical but I don't know if it was played in the best spirit, which is disappointing as we've had some terrific games against Catalan before. There was just a bit too much ill discipline where it boiled over a little. It was a messy game to watch. I don't mind tough and playing hard but there's a difference when you step over the line and unfortunately that's what was happening."
But Tony was pleased that we came away with the win.
"It showed that we're not going to be bullied as a team and even with some of those tactics were able to stand up to that which was important for us. We like good, hard-fought games; the previous week against Wigan we had a tremendous tough game of Rugby League which was very close. To participate in those sorts of games is great, the others we'll face up to if we have to but hopefully it won't be played like that too often."
With Lee Briers out last week the combination of Ratchford and Myler was put into play once again, as one of several options available to Tony.
"I thought both boys were good, handled the situation and played well together again. A couple of Stef's early touches and passes for Joel Monaghan were outstanding and very Lee Briers like, and Myler's playing with a lot of confidence at the moment and doing some really good stuff for us. Together they worked well. It's good for some of the young blood to come through.
"We've got a lot of depth and possibilities of combinations when some of our more senior players are either in or out. Lee's out at the moment along with Adrian Morley who sustained a bicep injury in the last game. He will have to have a repair on that which will keep him out for at least a couple of months which is unfortunate for Moz but will create some opportunities for the young guys we are bringing through; some of them have been waiting patiently for their opportunity so will probably get that over the next few weeks."
Looking ahead to Saturday's game against the Airlie Birds he said: "It will be a tough game no doubt. Last year was unique; I think we got off a plane five days before our first round against Hull and we had a real tough game over there. It was probably a good game for us at that stage and to come away with a point was a bit fortunate in some respects. We are in a different shape this year as are they. They've recruited some new players and will have gained some confidence from their last couple of outings. We are starting to build some of ours as well. While there are still some aspects of our game that we need to continue to improve on we feel we are improving in some areas as well."
This weekend is set to see two more player milestones reached with Chris Riley's 150th club appearances and Paul Wood his 300th in Warrington colours.
"Congratulations to the players. Each player puts a different worth on their personal milestones; the old adage goes ‘all players would substitute that for a good performance and good team performance'. The good thing is we've got players who are staying and wanting to stay at this club racking up some milestones. They are at a club that they love which is important and they are playing like that as well."
Match tickets for the Hull FC away game are on sale now in WolfWare, at WolfWare Online and on the ticket hotline 08448 11 11 76 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
Hull FC, Saturday 23rd February, 5.45pm, KC Stadium
20, Feb, 2013