What are your final thoughts over the way things went at St Helens?
I think we’re all still pretty disappointed.
We obviously got off to a shaky start and just couldn’t find a way back.
We did, however, hang in there for long periods, and we were pretty good in defence for the last 60 minutes, although the intensity wasn’t great.
But we’ve got the time, and the games, to fix that up.
You also weren’t helped with the injuries to Stephen Wild and Larne Patrick during the game. How are they this week?
Wildy trained well earlier in the week and will be available to play, which is obviously good news.
But, unfortunately, it’s a totally different story for Larne.
He picked up an ankle injury that forced him to come off at the weekend, and at the moment we can’t really assess how he’s coming along.
That’s because he’s a bit crook with the flu and he’s obviously staying away from training. As a result, he won’t be playing on Friday night.
But you have four senior players returning this week, which is good news isn’t it?
Definitely. It’s always good to have blokes with experience available, particularly when they are guys that have played big roles for us throughout the season.
Jamahl Lolesi (foot) and David Faiumu (hamstring) have both trained well and proved their fitness, while Keith Mason and Scott Moore are also keen to get back out onto the field.
I’m certainly looking forward to seeing them playing again, although the others who have played in their absence have done a good job, which is pleasing.
After serving their two-match suspensions, are you looking for a big response from Keith and Scott?
They’ve both been fine and have been training really well, but I don’t think it’s a case of looking for a response from them or expecting them to prove a point to anyone, because they’ve been playing pretty well all year.
And I also don’t think it’s a case of just being these two who are itching to get back out onto the field on Friday night.
I’m expecting all 17 who play against Catalans to be itching to play, because we’re now playing semi-final football and we know how high the stakes are. It’s now knockout footy all the way.
Let’s put it this way, I’d be disappointed if it took a training misdemeanour to bring the very best out of the players. If that’s the case, then may be more should miss training today!
But I’m sure it won’t come to that.
What’s happened with Keith and Scott is done and dusted. We can’t go backwards, we’ve all got to go forwards.
And, moving forward, it’s Catalans Dragons at the Galpharm tomorrow night. It’s not going to be easy, is it?
No it won’t.
We’ve produced two good performances against them, home and away, this season, so hopefully we’ll make it a third this week.
And we also know just what to expect from them.
At this time of the year everyone knows exactly what a team can do and how they play, so it’s a case of how well equipped you are on the day.
It’s now just a case of making sure you put in the effort and sacrifice that’s required to get the right result.
Catalans have plenty of good players and big players, and we know we have to make sure we play at our very best, particularly when you consider the form they’re in.
A couple of weeks ago, I’m sure they probably never thought they’d be preparing to play us in the play-offs.
They had a very good win at St Helens a fortnight ago and then backed that up with another good win at Wakefield on Saturday.
This will be the Dragons’ third successive visit to play in England. How much could that be a factor tomorrow night?
So far it hasn’t been a problem, judging by the way they’ve played over the past two weeks.
But all that constant travelling is definitely not good and must have some sort of affect.
Put it this way, I’d prefer to be sitting here waiting for them rather than having to jump on a plane again and having to prepare for another intense knock-out game.
At the end of the day, however, this game is more about us and putting in the required effort to achieve the result we all want.
This is semi-final footy and it’s a case of going out there and giving it everything we’ve got.
All the hard work throughout the year rolls into this one performance tomorrow night.
And if you are successful, you’ll be part of the new ‘club call’ concept, whereby minor champions Leeds will have the chance to decide who they play in the last four. What do you think of the idea?
It’s definitely different and I’ve not seen anything like this before.
I obviously just hope we’re going to be sitting down on Sunday waiting to see what Leeds decide to do, because that would mean we’re still in the competition and just one game away from the Grand Final.
But whether it proves to be a good idea remains to be seen.
Clearly, if Leeds pick a team and beat them it’ll be deemed by them as a success, but if it backfires and they lose it will be regarded as failure.
All we can do is wait and see, and the main things for us is making sure we’re part of that process.
That’s what means everything to us.