Nathan Brown column: We can’t afford to think too far ahead
So how’s the mood among everyone after Sunday’s excellent victory over Hull KR and the news it’s Warrington in the next round in a repeat of last year’s final?
The mood’s obviously upbeat.
We were delighted to get the result we did against a very reasonable team, because there were clearly far more easier sides to face at this stage than Hull KR.
Our first-half performance was flawless and we played as good as we could have played on the right day.
But the fact it’s Warrington in the next round isn’t really something we’ve talked about at this stage.
Our sole focus right now is Sunday’s Super League trip to Crusaders, then after that it’s all about preparing for Wigan in Edinburgh seven days later.
Only then can we seriously start to think about facing Warrington again, because a lot can change – in terms of form, injuries etc – between now and then.
Obviously the fact it’s a repeat of last season’s final when we were beaten at Wembley has already labelled our fifth-round home tie against Warrington as our chance to gain revenge.
But, as I said as soon as the draw was made, the important thing for us is to regard the fifth-round tie in isolation and see it as the next step towards our goal of trying to do what we can to get back to Wembley.
Getting to last year’s final was a thrill for everyone associated with the club – fans, players, coaching staff and backroom staff alike – and it really would be fantastic to get there again this year, too.
Does that mean, therefore, that getting back to Wembley will be used as an extra form of motivation going into the Warrington tie on May 8?
Not really, because as a club and a group we expect the players to go out there every week and compete as hard as possible.
In other words, we expect them to be motivated every week, whatever the fixture. We’d like to think that, in the players’ minds, every game is important and that they’re determined to put in 100% whenever they take to the field.
Obviously, with the Challenge Cup being a knock-out competition, you know there’s no margin for error and your judgement needs to be good or else you’re out, there are no second chances.
We saw a good side go out against us in Hull KR, and we could see how much that hurt, but fortunately we’re still alive, and we hope to remain so for as long as possible.
David Fa’alogo’s reputation has obviously been further enhanced with his performance last weekend. You must be absolutely delighted with the impact he’s making in his first season over here?
I was delighted when I managed to sign him last year, and I’m even more delighted with the way he’s playing, and we’d all like to see there’s still more to come from him!
Every week we seem to be talking about how well Dave’s playing, even though he had a disrupted pre-season after undergoing minor ankle and knee surgery and he’s still adjusting to the English style of play in Super League, and long may that continue.
It’s funny how he should play as well as he did again on Sunday, because it was only a couple of days before I was talking to Brett Hodgson and a couple of other players specifically about how I just couldn’t understand why he was playing for us. I still find it incredible to believe that another club in the Australian NRL didn’t take him on when it was revealed he would be leaving South Sydney.
Not that we’re complaining, of course!