The Liam Farrell Column: These are the reasons our attack stuttered

Sean OLoughlin marked his 400th Wigan game with defeat
Sean OLoughlin marked his 400th Wigan game with defeat

All the lads were disappointed with the performance last week.

All the lads were disappointed with the performance last week. Across the board, it was poor.

Seeing Burrow jumping in at dummy-half is one of the real scary sights!

Liam Farrell

It was not the way we wanted to mark Sean O’Loughlin’s 400th game for the club, and when you consider where we would be if we’d won - three points from the top-four - it was a tough one to take.

I know a lot of people have talked about our attack misfiring in the second-half, but a lot of that comes down to our defence.

If we lose the ruck, and they get quick play-the-balls, it drains our energy so then when it comes to our time to attack, it’s not as good.

If we defend well, our attack is crisper and quicker. If we don’t, then it can gas players, and our attack ends up suffering. That’s why it was poor against Warrington, especially in the second-half.

Throw in the penalties and the unforced errors, and we know we have areas we need to tidy up for this week.

It’s put a bigger focus on our game against Leeds. If we’re going to get into the top-four, this could be must-win.

It’s a tough challenge, against a very good side in form at present, but we’re confident we can do a job if we perform to our standards.

I was surprised when I read Rob Burrow is retiring at the end of the year - I thought he had a couple more years in him - but what a career he’s had.

When you see 16 stone blokes running at him, you realise how brave he is.

And in terms of opposition players, he is one of the hardest to defend against. Ask most players, and they’d rather tackle the biggest forward in the game.

When you get into the second-half of a game, and you’re a bit gassed, and you see Rob jumping into dummy-half... it’s one of the worst feelings in the game!

You know you’ve got to be on your game, defensively, because otherwise he will burn you. And even if you get him, you risk tackling him high.

He’s been a great player for Leeds, and Super League.

My knee injury is recovering well. Hopefully I’ll be fit to play against Salford next week in the Challenge Cup semi-final, but we’ll make a call closer to the time.

Obviously, it’s a massive game and I want to play in it, but if I’m not ready it can have big consequences, for the team and for me.

You’ve got to try and find the right balance, and listen to the physios, and then Waney will make a call.

Fingers crossed.

I don’t know what the rugby league is trying to do but, when we speak about trying to bring young players through, the current system doesn’t seem right.

Not when we get to this stage of the season and many of them are being prevented from playing.

Players who are too old for the Under-19s can’t play on dual-registration over the next couple of months.

So they’ll train but, apart from a couple of reserve games, they probably won’t play. I feel sorry for them.

I don’t know what was wrong with the system which I came through.

We had an Under-18s, and then a 21s with a few senior players allowed in it.

It was great for young lads, because we had more senior players like Karl Pryce, Cam Phelps and Amos Roberts in there – it was a good way for them to come back from injury, too.

We had a couple washouts, but at least the lads who weren’t in the first-team got a game each week.