You head into tomorrow night’s home game against Leeds on the back of that cruel defeat at Wigan last Thursday. Is the mood still as positive as ever ahead of it?
Obviously, the defeats will always hurt, particularly when considering the manner of that loss last week.
However, the mood is still positive, because I think we’ve seen some definite improvements in what we have been doing over the past couple of weeks.
The thing now is to turn that into wins.
Clearly, we’re still where we are in the table because we’ve not been good enough and consistent enough, and we’ve just got to accept that fact rather than dwell on it.
However, I believe that in the last couple of games we’ve been getting back into our defensive groove.
It’s just that the weight of possession in the Wigan game that got us in the end.
Would you say that the receive effort looked more like the Huddersfield Giants of old?
You could say that. But that can also been a bit of a demoralising thing to point out,
Because we came away from that match with nothing left in the tank and still ended in coming up short in terms of the final result.
Having said that, to say we were down to 12 men for long periods in the second half, Wigan had 80% of the possession and we had just 12 sets (the average is usually around 20) and we were still in the contest right until the end shows there’s nothing wrong with our effort, endeavour and resilience.
I was really happy about that.
You made it clear how unhappy you were with the way referee Joe Cobb handled the contest and that he had a big say in the way things went against you on the night. Has there be any comeback from the RFL on that?
Well, I have had a phone conversation relating to it, but I think we’ll keep that to ourselves.
But let’s just say my opinion hasn’t changed between straight after the game and now.
And, on the other hand, the more I speak about, the more it takes away from what we need to do to still try and get something out of our season.
It also detracts from the any positives we could take out of that Wigan game.
For instance, I was really pleased with the way Leroy Cudjoe is backing himself again, how Ryan Brierley is starting to turn half-breaks into tries and how some of our young blokes are competing in high intensity games and doing as well as they are.
They’ll definitely be better for that.
So was Ryan’s hat trick from full-back arguably the biggest things to take out of the night?
I was really pleased for him, and I’m also really pleased that he’s fitting in so well in the half-back role.
I know quite a few people were questioning why I switched such a successful Championship scrum half to full-back, and I think he’s now starting to prove why I did.
It’s a question of playing to Ryan’s strengths, and I think that’s something he’s able to do for us at full-back.
With the way Ryan’s progressing, how easy is it going to be for Scott Grix to get back into the side when he’s fully fit after his shoulder injury?
That’s going to be a really good selection problem to have.
Grixy and Jamie Ellis (also a shoulder injury) are both starting to train with us again, and they are still in line to be available for Magic Weekend in a month.
But with Ryan playing well and Kyle Wood’s influence starting to grow now he’s back to full fitness, neither Grixy or Jamie will be able to take anything for granted?
That’s the way it should be.