Sunday’s win over Wakefield made it four out of four as you remain a point clear at the top of Super League. So which players, in particular, have really impressed you in your squad so far?
To be honest, none of them. They’re all a pain in the backside!
Ok, may be I’m exaggerating a little there, but there were times during the game against Wakefield when I was far from impressed with some of the things I was seeing.
There was a general lack of respect for possession and the number of unforced errors we were coming up with was totally unacceptable.
There were times when we didn’t play smart at all, and that almost came back to bite us incredibly hard.
Fortunately, we were able to produce the defensive effort required to get us through, but it really was a close-run thing.
There are only so many times when you can find yourself on the ropes and avoid suffering a knock-out blow.
That’s something we’ve avoided so far, but if we don’t get our act together, we will eventually find ourselves on the floor.
What’s really getting us through at the moment is the way everyone is prepared to work for each other when an error is made.
It’s this collective effort that is proving our biggest strength at the moment and, going back to the question, that’s why I don’t feel it’s right to single out any particular players for what they’ve been serving up.
Certain players have been gaining the individual plaudits on a weekly basis.
But when I look back to the start of the season we’ve made, it really is the collective effort that’s really shone through.
So, judging by what you’ve said, is the key to success against Bradford Bulls respecting possession?
It doesn’t matter who we face, we need to respect possession.
We know we face anther big challenge this week and, once again, the call is all about improving and ensuring we learn the lessons from the Wakefield game and Wigan the week before that.
I’m sure Bradford will be really desperate to put right the wrongs of their performance against St Helens last Saturday (they lost 36-10 at home).
I went to watch that game, and made the mistake of standing on the popular terrace side to see how the Bulls are shaping up. It didn’t take too long for me to be reminded of exactly how cold it can be watching a game at Odsal!
Even though Bradford were beaten by a 26-point margin, they still showed what a solid side they are.
Saints played exceptionally well in the opening half to build up a big lead by the break (26-0), but in the second half the Bulls played a lot better and showed some good periods of skill.
It goes without saying that (new head coach) Francis Cummins will be looking for them to build on the second 40 minutes when they come to us.
If they are able to do that, then we know we’ll have to raise our game.
Brett Kearney, in particular, is playing tremendously well, whether it’s at full-back or in the halves, and with someone like him pulling the attacking strings you always know they’ll be a major threat.
Going back to the Wakefield game. You’ll have now had time to see whether the final pass to Lee Smith for what would have been the matchwinning try was forward, so was it?
Yes, it was.
But on another day it could have gone against us and, if it had, we’d have accepted it, because overall Wakefield did enough to win the game.
Finally, after Jermaine McGillvary’s hat trick against Wakefield, there’s been increased talk of him forcing his way into England’s World Cup squad. Do you think that’s a realistic call?
I don’t see why not.
He’s got to continue the form he’s been showing at the start of the year, but he’s playing well and should be in with a shout. There’s still a load of improvement in him.
It’s just a shame he picked up that injury when he did at the weekend.
It was a nasty cut to his eyelid, both inside and out, which meant he had to go to hospital to get it sorted.
He caught a stud but it was a pure accident, but he’ll be ok for the weekend.