Back to business for Wolves

pic

3rd August 2013

Warrington hooker Mick Higham hopes the Wolves' brief switch to cricket this week has recharged spirits for a Super League title push.

The Wolves, Challenge Cup winners for three of the past four years, missed out on another Wembley trip as they suffered a shock loss to Hull FC in last week's semi-final.

They had little time to hide their disappointment as they were back out in public two days later for forward Ben Westwood's testimonial cricket match against local side Grappenhall CC.

The 20-over game was played as a curtain-raiser to another charity match between England and Australia 'legends' sides featuring the likes of Andrew Flintoff, Mark Ramprakash and Jeff Thomson.

The Wolves now return to more conventional action this weekend as they travel to Castleford Tigers bidding to keep the pressure on Wigan Warriors and Huddersfield Giants in the battle for the League Leaders' Shield.

Higham said: "It was good fun, a great day - great for Bennie, something different. The lads seemed to enjoy themselves. We had a few secret batters, some big hitters!

"I think it is probably something we needed, a bit of a change of scenery. It helped us keep in good spirits and lift ourselves for a big back end to the Super League season.

"We were disappointed after Sunday. We had really big hopes of getting there and getting the trophy again but it didn't quite happen; we weren't good enough on the day.

"I suppose the good thing is we can focus all our energy now on the big one at the end of the season. Onwards and upwards for the league."

Hull came at Warrington with a nothing-to-lose attitude and Higham believes Castleford, who still have a mathematical chance of making the play-offs, may approach this weekend the same way.

The former Wigan and Leigh forward, 32, said: "No-one will expect them to get in the eight but you never know. They'll probably think they still have a chance. They have put a winning run together and they'll see it as a big scalp, to turn Warrington over.

"Defensively we're going to really have to be very good. They can strike all over the field."

Huddersfield have a chance to return to the top spot seized by Wigan on Friday night as they host struggling Salford City Reds.

Paul Anderson's side will be expected to brush the injury-hit City Reds aside to go into next week's eagerly-anticipated clash with Wigan in good heart.

Yet the Giants are all too aware they have come unstuck against Salford in the past, most recently when they were edged out 21-20 at Barton in March.

Forward Eorl Crabtree said: "There's no way we'll be complacent this weekend.

"Salford have definitely become a bit of a bogey side. We'll be preparing as if it's a Grand Final, because we know we'll need to be at our best. No-one expected Salford to beat us at last year's Magic Weekend, but they did, and no-one expected them to beat us at their place this Easter, but they did."

Bradford Bulls travel to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, with coach Francis Cummins said: "I am confident we can beat every team we play up to the end of the season but we have to be on our mettle and at our best because Wakefield, very much like ourselves, work very hard for each other.

"Wakefield have played twice against Leeds (Rhinos), back to back, and showed some good play to run them close in both those games."

Back to business for Wolves 2013.superleague.co.uk