How’s the mood in the camp after last week’s defeat?
As always, it’s never as good as it is when you win!
But everyone remains in good spirits and with their confidence intact.
Everyone appreciates we were involved in what was a reasonable game of footy between two good teams, and that the level of performance we produced would have been good enough to have beaten a number of teams in the competition.
It was the case last weekend that we came up against a very good side in Warrington Wolves, but we could have easily come away with the victory.
So how disappointed were you because of that?
As I said, it’s always disappointing to lose, especially when it was one of those games where the result could have gone either way.
I thought our attack was good in the first half, but we let ourselves down in the second.
We were the better team in that opening period and thoroughly deserved to go 10-4 ahead. But we then threw an intercept pass, Warrington drew level at 10-10 and in the second half they were a little better than us and got the victory.
At the same time, however, it’s also only right to again acknowledge the quality of the opposition.
Their defence, in particular, was very good, and this time last year I don’t believe we would have been anywhere near as good as this in a clash like this.
However, when the pressure is on and we’re a touch behind on the scoreboard, we still come up with some of the similar problems to last year.
It is vitally important, therefore, that we start to find a way to beat the really good sides when the heat’s on, because we do still come up a fraction short when this is the case.
Which players impressed you with the way they played?
I thought Kevin Brown (pictured in the gym) was terrific in the first half, while Martin Aspinwall looked good in his first game of the season, which bodes well.
David Fa’alogo also had his best game since he’s been here as he starts to get his match fitness back and adapts to the different conditions.
And, collectively, our left-side attack looked good on the back of the hard work put in down the middle.
Losing Brett Hodgson again is a blow. How big a blow is it exactly?
You never want to lose a player through injury, especially one as influential as Brett and for about a month at that (with ligament damage to his left ankle).
I said when he missed our defeat at Hull FC with a back strain the other week that we needed to learn how to win without him, and we’re in the same boat once again.
But, as I said then, we did win a couple of those games he didn’t play in last season, and we were also close to those which we lost. Obviously, the big win at Wakefield (54-6) and our narrow defeat at St Helens (12-10) spring to mind.
And even though Brett is a quality player, he isn’t the only one in our team.
Much of our success is down to the way we play as a team rather than as individuals.
Apart from Brett, how’s the rest of the squad looking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Wakefield?
It’s looking a lot better.
We did, of course, have initial fears over the neck injury Graeme Horne picked up towards the end of the Warrington game.
At first, it didn’t look too good, but he’s responded well to treatment and could be included.
And Scott Grix will be in the 19 after missing last week’s match with his dislocated finger.
He was desperately disappointed to miss that match, especially as he missed out on the chance to face his brother, Simon, in a Super League game for the first time.
But we all felt he would benefit from having last weekend off, and I know how much he wants to make a quick return for us at Wakefield!