Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Wildcats keen to get ahead of their rivals

Tim Smith
Tim Smith
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PLAY-MAKER TIM Smith reckons today’s visit of Widnes Vikings is Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ biggest game of the year so far.

With three rounds remaining, Wakefield are fourth in the First Utility Qualifiers table.

The top three on the final ladder will automatically secure Super League status for next season.

Fourth will be at home to fifth in the ‘million pound match’, a one-off shootout to decide the remaining place.

Table-topping Hull KR have won all four games up to now and look safe, but Widnes and Salford Red Devils are both in Wildcats’ sights, just two points better off.

They meet next weekend before Salford finish away to Hull KR and Widnes play host to Leigh Centurions in their final match.

Wakefield have an easier run-in, against Championship sides Halifax at home and Sheffield Eagles away, so a win today would be a huge step towards staying in Super League.

“If you do well against the Super League sides you give yourselves a chance,” Smith said.

“We have got Widnes and then the two Championship sides, but you can’t take anything lightly.

“When we are at home we are always on, but Widnes are a quality side.

“We will have to be on our marker and up for a big game, it will be the game of the season for us.”

Wildcats have led in the second half of both their games against Super League opposition, eventually going down 
34-26 at Salford and 20-18 away to Hull KR six days ago.

Wakefield led 12-0 early on last week and created several good chances after that, but Smith admitted lack of composure proved costly.

“We really shot ourselves in the foot a bit last week,” he conceded.

“We missed a few opportunities, a few passes went down and that sort of thing,

“We have just got to grin and bear it and move on – that’s what it’s all about.

“We let it get away from us in the end, but there’s no point sulking about it, we’ve just got to look forward to Widnes.

“They are coming off a win.

“But it is a big game for us and we will give ourselves the best chance and just have to see how we go.

“If we play a little bit better than that (last week) we’re confident we can get the win.”

Michael Sio is set to return for Wildcats today after a one-game ban.

Chris Riley and Chris Annakin are also vying for a recall, with Anthony Walker dropping out from last Sunday’s 17.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (from): Locke, L Smith, Tupou, Lyne, Tansey, Miller, T Smith, Scruton, Washbrook, Anderson, Lauitiiti, Ashurst, Simon, Godinet, Arundel, Mullally, Sio, Annakin, Riley.

Widnes Vikings (from): Ah Van, Brown, Cahill, Clarkson, Craven, Dean, Dudson, Flynn, Galea, Gerrard, Hanbury, Heremaia, Munuokafoa, Mellor, O’Carroll, Runciman, Tickle, White, Whitley.

Referee: Joe Cobb (Leigh).