BRETT FERRES will look to use the frustration of missing the pre-season clash at St Helens to guarantee he produces his top form in Sunday’s home trial clash against Widnes Vikings.
The 26-year-old back-row forward was forced to miss the trip to Langtree Park after picking up a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle during his side’s play-off defeat at Hull FC last September.
It was a ban Ferres felt he shouldn’t have received.
But it meant he missed the chance to stake an immediate claim for a starting spot for the Super League XVIII opener at Saints on Saturday, February 2.
And he’s determined to make up for lost time against the Vikings this weekend.
“It’s never ideal missing a game, especially when it was due to picking up a ban I thought was harsh,” said Ferres.
“We’re not exactly short of back-row forwards at the club, which means you’re going to have to play well to make sure you get a start.
“But that’s obviously not as easy if you end up missing games, which was the case with me last Friday.
“That gave the other back-row boys the chance to steal a bit of a march on me, and I think one or two of them didn’t let themselves down.
“So that means the pressure’s on to make sure I come up with the right performance this weekend and show everyone I deserve a start for the opening League game.
“All being well, I’ll be given a fair amount of gametime and I’ll make the most of my chance.”
Ferres is particularly keen to make a first appearance in 2013 after completing a first pre-season with the club.
The former England forward arrived at the John Smith’s Stadium from Castleford Tigers midway through last season.
That meant he was thrown in at the deep end with his new club and it took him several months to find his feet.
But he knows that won’t be a problem this time around.
“It obviously took me a bit of time to adjust to my new surroundings and fit in with the team,” he added. “But I’d like to think that towards the end of the season I’d settled in well.
“That gave me more confidence heading into my first pre-season, and I now feel far more at home after several very tough month’s training. I’m now at the stage where I really need to be playing.”