The Liam Farrell Column: Halfway point will be test of where we are

Our columnist looks at the areas Warriors need to fix to ensure they tame Tigers

Thursday, 19th April 2018, 11:03 am
Updated Thursday, 19th April 2018, 11:06 am
Warriors players celebrate beating Leeds last weekend

We have to admit last Friday’s win over Leeds was scrappy, but the good thing is we showed enough composure to grab the win.

The game itself lacked a bit of quality from both sides and there were quite a few errors and penalties, a little bit from Leeds as well in the second half.

But I still think the last 10-15 minutes of the game we showed a bit of composure.

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We were down to 12 men for a 10-minute period but we stuck at it and knew we’d be able to stay in the game.

It might have been ugly at times but we were good for the last 10 minutes.

Obviously Sam Tomkins’ contribution was a big part of us leaving Headingley with our first win there since 2012.

He scored the drop-goal which ultimately decided the game and I didn’t really expect him to go for it at the point he did but when he did it never looked like it was missing. The angle made it a really tough one to land – it was a great effort from him.

And to kick the two points as well just before then from the touchline – when he slipped – there was pressure and he kept his composure and put us in a position to win the game.

Headingley was obviously different to the last time we played there as well.

I didn’t realise there was so much going on with the redevelopment work. They’ve built the South Stand and opposite that the North has been demolished and there’s a temporary stand up so there’s a lot of work going on.

I’ve always said Headingley is one of my favourite grounds and it still is even though there’s a lot of work going on. When it’s completed it’s going to be an impressive place to play.

We’ve highlighted in the last few weeks our starts have not been great and obviously in the game against Catalans we were lethargic in the first half and decided to turn up in the second half.

The Leeds game was pretty similar. We haven’t scored in our past to first halves so there’s still a few areas to fix up from us.

We’re looking forward to testing ourselves against Castleford, and it will mean we’ve now played everyone after our game with them was called off in March because of the snow.

I don’t think there’s ever an easy time to face them.

They’re an impressive team and they’ll challenge you all over the field. If you switch off for a second they’ll burn you.

You can’t look too much into their result against Catalans, when they won 41-,0 because as they’ll say themselves Catalans are under-performing at the moment.

But people are saying the Tigers have not had as good a start this year but I disagree with that.

They’ve gone under the radar a little bit and they had that big loss against Saints at the beginning of the year but other than that they’ve travelled pretty well and gone about their business quietly. I don’t think many people realise they are only two points behind us in the table having lost only twice so far, the same as we have, but they have only played nine games to out 10.
We’re certainly treating it as another game against one of the big sides.

We’re happy to be back at the DW after a couple of weeks on the road.

We’ve not had many Friday night games at home against big teams so we’re really looking forward to it. I can speak for all the lads, they all love playing at the DW.

We know we have to be good defensively to get this one. When Castleford’s outside backs combine with their halves they cause you trouble and I think with the middles we have to control them. We have to keep composed and make sure we don’t force anything we don’t need to. We’ve played Leeds and come out on the good end of that, and we can now see where we are against Cas’. We’re halfway to the Super 8s split, have played everyone, so it gives us a good idea of where we are at the moment.

I’d like to offer a big congratulations to the Wigan athletes who brought medals home from the Commonwealth Games.

Dan Bibby’s England team won bronze in the rugby sevens while Charlie Bowling (right) also won bronze in wrestling.

I caught a bit of the sevens and I think it’s an impressive game to play.

You have to be pretty fit to play it as well.

We seem to go really well in wrestling and we’re really lucky that we have a reputation for producing some of the best athletes in that sport as well.

Congratulations to both of them!