The Liam Farrell column: I’ll take punishment on the chin

Liam Farrell applauds fans after the Warrington defeat
Liam Farrell applauds fans after the Warrington defeat

I’ll miss Sunday’s game at Wakefield after accepting a one-match ban.

I spoke to Waney shortly after being charged for striking with the knees, and we agreed that taking an early guilty plea was the best thing to do.

Just to be clear, I didn’t intend to hit Stefan Ratchford with my knees, but it was a clumsy thing to do.

I shouldn’t have slid in like I did - frustration got the better of me, seeing him go under the sticks for a try.

As I say, it was the wrong thing to do, I apologised to Stef afterwards and I’ll cop the ban on the chin.

It was a bit of a poor first-half all round on Friday night.

Before that, I was sinbinned for holding a player down, when Warrington broke through.

Our defence was still getting back in place, I was trying to buy as much time as possible, and I got pinned for it.

I was sinbinned at Leeds last year for stopping someone scoring, but on that occasion I knew I’d get sinbinned! I was in an offside position when I made a tackle.

But on Friday, it certainly wasn’t my intention to get sinbinned - I thought I was okay, but I ran the risk and I can’t really complain.

It didn’t help the side as we let in three tries in that first 20 minutes.

You can hold your hand up for the Kevin Penny try - it was a great kick by Chris Sandow - but some of the others were soft on our part.

We improved before half-time and I thought the try we had chalked off, when Joel Tomkins crossed and I got done for obstruction, was a harsh call.

But overall we let ourselves down in the first 20 minutes and gave ourselves too much to do.

We seemed to relax in the second-half and played better, and while we were disappointed to lose, none of us were downbeat about it.

Waney told us afterwards to be proud of our performance, especially when you consider the number of players we’ve got in other positions because of injuries, and we know we can improve before we play Warrington again at the end of the month.

We’ll be down to the bare bones for Sunday’s game and it will be hard for me to watch on, especially being fully fit but suspended.

We had a good break over the weekend to freshen up after Easter, and I’m sure Waney will put a big emphasis on going to Wakefield with the right attitude.

At any time, it’s a hard place to go to.

And right now, Wakey have won their last three and seem to be hitting some form. Tom Johnstone, the young winger, had scored some good tries for them, so we will be preparing for a really tough game.

The number of injuries over Easter has raised the question about whether we should cut back the number of games we play.

I know some coaches and players have been quite outspoken about it.

I understand where they are coming from because I’ve been through it and it is tough.

But honestly, if I had a vote on it, I’d keep it.

It’s only once a year and I like the challenge of being tested, backing up, playing again.

And as a club we tend to do pretty well over Easter - I think we’ve only lost two games during the period in the last seven years while I’ve been in the first-team - so if anyone shouldn’t be whingeing about it, it’s us!

With so many points on offer in a short time, it’s usually when you see the table taking shape.

We’ve nearly played everyone once already now, and the ladder looks a bit strange, with Leeds and Huddersfield at the bottom.

It’s hard to say whether they can claw their way back up. I imagine they will get into the top-tier for when the Super 8s begins, but it just shows that the competition has improved this year, and no team can be taken for granted.