THE win over Leeds has put everyone in good mood.
I said a week ago we were under pressure. I said it was a must-win.
So to beat a team like Leeds, who had been playing really well, was really satisfying. We would have been very disappointed if they had sneaked it. When Rob Burrow scored that try late on to level the scores, I thought, ‘please no!’ I’ll be honest, I’d rather have the biggest forward in Super League running at me than Rob – he’s a real weapon for them, with his footwork.
It was nice to get a try, from Joe Burgess’ kick – a few of the lads have said it was a fluke, but I did call for it. We do practice off-the-cuff plays in training, though you never really know if the ball’s going to bounce up kind for you or not!
The key is putting yourself in the right position to take the opportunity if it comes.
Leeds are the best attacking team in the league. And as much as I’m not sure about the idea of Adam Cuthbertson playing for England, there’s no doubt he’s a really good player. He’s really dangerous with his offloads.
But as I said, I felt we deserved the win – and it was nice for Matty Smith that he sealed the game with a real pressure kick.
He’s had a bit of stick since he’s taken the role – and it’s a bit of a thankless task, replacing Pat Richards as a goal-kicker – but he spends hours a week doing extra practice, and I’m happy he got the rewards.
The win has kept us in the mix before the season splits for the Super 8s.
We’re only a point behind St Helens, and so if we win our next two games – and they slip up – we’ll go into second. It goes without saying I’ll be hoping Warrington beat them tomorrow night!
It’s probably too much to ask for Leeds to slip up now, but stranger things have happened and we have to make sure we’re in a good position if that happens.
MENTIONING Pat Richards, I think the move to Catalans next season will work out well for him.
It’s a chance to extend his career for two years and, while I’ve not spoken to him about it, it’s obviously a great chance for him and his family to experience another culture before he retires. It’s going to be weird seeing him at the DW next season in another shirt, but I’m looking forward to catching up with him.
I WAS in two minds whether to give Mango and T any stick about England winning the opening Test of the Ashes this week.
On the one hand, it’s always good to get one over the Aussies.
But on the other, how many times have we got our hopes up and then they’ve got us at the end?
FINALLY, I’d like to wish Paul Deacon all the best with his new role at Sale.
He’s a very knowledgeable coach and he’s certainly played his part in the club’s success over the last five years.
I don’t think he knows this, but I’ve actually got a picture of him on my wall – the snapshot of him passing me the ball, for the late try I scored against St Helens in the 2011 Good Friday game.
It was one of the best feelings of my life, scoring that try. I’ll always be grateful to him for that pass!