Maguire questions ‘crazy’ fixtures

Three games in nine days have drained the Warriors
Three games in nine days have drained the Warriors

MICHAEL Maguire questioned the logic of staging three Super League games in a week – labelling the decision “crazy.”

And he urged the RFL to ensure other teams don’t suffer the same fate in future.

Warriors’ 38-6 win at Harlequins on Saturday was their third game in nine days, following fixtures against Leeds and Castleford.

The clash against the Tigers was rearranged last Wednesday as its original slot in February clashed with the World Club Challenge.

Maguire did not complain about the hectic schedule during the week, mindful of the fact he did not want to appear as if he was making a pre-emptive excuse.

But after seeing his side leapfrog Warrington at the top of the table with victory in London, he admitted it was an issue which needs to be addressed by the game’s governing body.

He said: “I’m sure having the midweek game had a huge effect. It’s probably something the league needs to look at, playing midweek and then backing up in three days is a bit crazy for the players.

“They’re working really hard out there on the field and getting busted, and to turn around and play another one like they did... it was a great effort from the boys.”

Despite the one-sided scoreline, Quins were perhaps unfortunate to be trailing 14-6 at half-time on Saturday.

But Wigan turned on the style after the break with four tries from Paul Deacon (2), Stefan Marsh and Brett Finch, adding to the touchdowns in the first-half from Pat Richards – who also kicked five goals – Ryan Hoffman and Harrison Hansen.

“It was a tough old day, we made a meal of the first-half and gave away too many penalties and turned over too much ball,” continued Maguire.

“I wasn’t worried, because I knew what we were doing wrong and we spoke at half-time about what they needed to do, and they went out and did it. It was pretty obvious, and our completion in the second half was as good as it’s been for a while. But I was pleased with the boys, especially given the turnaround. It was a job done for this week.”

Winger Karl Pryce – on a season-long loan with Harlequins – scored the home side’s only try. But their coach, Rob Purdham, complained his outfit were robbed of three other legitimate touchdowns by wrong refereeing decisions.

He said: “That’s 18 points – and against a side like Wigan you don’t want too many things to go wrong in order for them to get some ascendancy again.”

Maguire rested Sean O’Loughlin for the trip to Harlequins, while George Carmont was ruled out with a niggling leg injury.

Both should return to face Wakefield at home this Friday, ahead of the mouth-watering Challenge Cup quarter-final against Warrington a week later.