THERE WILL be a bit of a spring in Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ step when they make their visit to Warrington Wolves tonight.
Wildcats were embarrassed 80-0 in the corresponding fixture last year, but travel to HJ Stadium boosted by a 14-12 win over Hull KR five days ago.
That was their first victory over top-flight opposition since last July and boss Brian Smith said it has lifted the entire club.
“It’s a well overdue boost for us to get a ‘W’ instead of those other things,” said Smith, whose brother Tony is in charge of Warrington.
But he admitted the number of penalties his team conceded last week made it tough and he is anxious to avoid a repeat.
“It was hard-fought and difficult,” Smith added.
“We conceded 15 penalties, which is from the 1970s or 80s.
“We’ve conceded 28 penalties in two games and they were for the most obscure things.
“It was weird, but the guys stuck to their guns.
“The week before had been a problem with seven in a row against Castleford and we collapsed, but not this time.
“We kept at it and dealt with it, but we can’t even think about it happening at Warrington.
“It’s just an eyesore on the game and there are management issues there.
“We have some issues too, but why would we set out to give away 15 penalties?
“Please, no more of that.”
Warrington have had two weeks to prepare.
Smith said: “It’s a big job for a club like ours after a five-day preparation to go to a team that’s had 12 days’ prep and are in winning form. We’ll need to be really good.
Nick Scruton could return for Wildcats and Craig Hall, Matty Ashurst and Anthony Walker are also bidding for a recall, with Scott Anderson and Bill Tupou dropping out from last week’s team.
Benjamin Jullien, Gary Wheeler and Joe Philbin are vying to replace Ben Westwood in Warrington’s 17.
Warrington Wolves: from Atkins, Clark, Cox, Currie, Dwyer, Evans, Gidley, Hill, Hughes, Jullien, King, Lineham, Penny, Philbin, Russell, Sandow, Sims, Westerman, Wheeler.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: from Annakin, Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, England, Finn, Hall, Howarth, Jones-Bishop, Johnstone, Lyne, Miller, Molloy, Scruton, Simon, Sio, A Tupou, Walton, Walker.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.