Wakefield Wildcats: Underdogs’ tag suits us fine against Reds - Lauitiiti

Ali Lauitiiti.
Ali Lauitiiti.
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Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are looking to catch hosts Salford City Reds cold on Monday night, ball-handling forward Ali Lauitiiti says.

Wildcats have lost their last four games and the former Leeds Rhinos back-rower thinks that may lull Salford into over-confidence.

The home side – under new boss Brian Noble – are also struggling and were hammered 68-10 at Warrington Wolves six days ago, but Lauitiiti expects them to be targeting Monday’s game as one they can win.

“I think they will see us as a team they can beat,” he said. “I think that’s a good thing for us.

“Going into a game and being the underdog, I think that’s a good thing. If they come with that attitude I think that’s good for us.

“Hopefully they drop their guard and we can play well and make the most of that.”

The way Wildcats approach the game is also crucial, according to Lauitiiti.

“It is always going to be tough against a team playing in front of their home crowd,” he added.

“Salford, even though they are struggling, are still competing. I think that’s the main thing for them.

“We just need to work on ourselves, execute the things we are working on at training and be smarter in some areas of our game.

“We have got to turn up with the right attitude and execute our game plan.”

Wildcats have slipped to fourth from bottom in Super League and it is getting towards now or never as far as a top-eight bid is concerned.

With a game in hand, Wakefield have five points to make up over the final third of the campaign and Lauitiiti said: “It is a must-win.

“The last three games have been pretty much must-win for us, though we didn’t come away with the results.

“The games against Hull KR and Castleford were our downfall. Some of the boys turned up, but it was more of an attitude thing. But in the game last week against Wigan, the boys played well, much better than the last few weeks.

“Though they lost I felt they put on a good performance and that’s a positive.

“The attitude and enthusiasm was there and they turned up for each other. That’s what our coaching staff needed from us.

“If we do that, we will compete against most teams in the competition.

“It is just a matter of doing it week in and week out.

“If everyone plays their part in the team it gives us a better chance of winning. Hopefully we can do that on Monday and come away with the result.

“We just need to play well, it is about us doing our job and putting in a good performance.”

Meanwhile, Lauitiiti – who is hoping to return to the side on Monday after a heel injury – is putting club before country in World Cup year.

The former New Zealand international represented Samoa in the 2008 event and could be part of their plans for this autumn’s showpiece.

But he insisted: “I am just worrying about playing well for Wakefield.

“I just need to play. I don’t think my form has been that good.

“I am just worrying about getting back on to the paddock for Wakefield and doing a good job for them.”

Wakefield try scorer Mason Caton-Brown. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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