The Liam Farrell Column: We need to beat one of the bigger teams

It's important we win tomorrow night - and NOT so it will end our poor run at Leeds.

Thursday, 12th April 2018, 2:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th April 2018, 2:36 pm
Sean OLoughlin led the fightback against Catalans

Shaun Wane has already reminded us we’ve not won at Headingley since 2012.

I must admit, I was surprised it had been so long, because it’s one of my favourite away grounds – there’s always a good atmosphere and we’ve been involved in some great games there.

Obviously we want to end that run, but for me, that isn’t the motivating factor.

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What’s more important is to knock off a result against one of the big teams.

We’re second in the ladder and we’ve done pretty well against many teams. But we’ve lost to the two sides who are next to us in the table – Warrington and St Helens – and we’ve got last year’s two Grand Finalists, Leeds and Castleford, in the next nine days.

Yes, both the Wire and Saints game could have gone the other way, but we didn’t get over the line and we want to get a good result against a top side – I think it would give us a confidence boost.

And if we get two results over the next two games, I think it would send a real statement out about what we’re capable of this year.

I remember when we had a comeback from 26 points down at Hull KR, and this was a similar feeling. We started the game slow and lethargic and when you’re down, it can be easy to start feeling sorry for yourself, but you just can’t afford to do that. We were always confident we could score points, it was just a case of keeping hold of the ball and – for pretty-much 25 minutes – we did that.

It needed some special individual efforts and Sean O’Loughlin has rightly been praised for his role in our fightback.

The last player I can remember going from prop to stand-off – and excelling at both – was Andy Farrell, and you hear the way people talk of him as one of the best to have played the game – Lockers is the same, in my eyes.

I can definitely see him playing on, as long as he feels he is contributing and he stays free from injury.

He was our Players’ Player of the Year last season, and he’s started this season really well.

It wasn’t just about the actual plays, some of the tries we scored were from simple shapes, but the overall composure and influence he has on the side, and the way he gripped the game.

There was, of course, a great highlight of his performance – the pass he gave me, in the build-up to Oliver Gildart’s try.

I’d love to say it was a planned move, that we’ve rehearsed that time and again on the training pitch, but in truth, Lockers had no idea I’d caught it! He was tackled as soon as he’d released the ball, and had no idea what had happened after that!

Even so, it was nice to come away with the two points.

A long day was made even longer because of some problems with air traffic control. We had a couple of hours on the tarmac at Manchester Airport and then a wait at the other end before we flew home; from setting off from Orrell at 5.30am, we only got back about 4.30am. I read some comments from Steve McNamara, that people forget they have to make the trip every other week, and it must be tough. I know they’re bottom of the table but I’ve honestly seen enough to think they’ll be okay.

It may be tough to get out of the bottom-four before the season splits, but they definitely have the players to do it. I read that they had more players at the World Cup than any other club, and when you’ve not really had a pre-season it is tough, but with the talent they have in their side I can see them kicking on.

One of the talking points which came from the game was how video referees are ruling on obstruction, in the build-up to tries.

It is difficult because it’s often not black and white, it’s open to interpretation whether a lead-runner has had an impact on the defensive line and this year, I have seen some tries chalked off which probably should have been tries - such as Joe Burgess’ opener on Saturday. In the NRL, they have ex-players involved and I do think the officials should consider something similar, and have someone there who has played the game making a call on whether a lead-runner has interfered with the play or not. You get some going for you and some against you, and I get that, but I can see why coaches get frustrated about it because they spend a long time working on plays.