Smith takes aim to put boot into Rhinos

Jack Hughes
Jack Hughes

MATTY Smith has ramped up his target practice since the Super 8s have started – and says

his accuracy at Leeds on Friday will have extra significance.

Rhinos marksman Kevin Sinfield rarely misses when taking aim for a two-pointer – but Smith has been working on improving his own success rate – as was evident with his five goals from five attempts against Huddersfield last week.

With a close encounter expected at Headingley, Smith’s boot could provide the difference come the full time hooter, much like it did at the DW Stadium last month when he landed a difficult last-minute penalty to hand Warriors a valuable win.

“I’ve been doing alright at the minute,” said the Wigan scrum half.

“I just have to keep practicing. I practice every day and it’s getting better.

“It’s coming along well but I know Kevin Sinfield hardly misses so I’ll have to get them on Friday as well.”

The more games you play and the more competitive the games are – the bigger games bring out the best in me personally

Matty Smith

Despite Wigan having beaten Leeds in their last two meetings with the Yorkshire heavyweights, they haven’t won at Headingley since dishing out a 50-8 hammering in 2012.

But a chance to make up further ground on Super League’s front-runners, as well as take another step towards securing a play-off spot, should give Wigan plenty of impetus to put that right.

“It’s a tough place to go but obviously looking at results it makes for a massive game,” he said.

“These games are massive now in the eights and you need to win them all if you want to finish on top and get that League Leaders’ Shield.

“This is why we play the game, to play in these big games.”

With the Super 8s gaining momentum, Smith also hopes the revamped competition could help England’s cause come this autumn’s three-match Test Series against New Zealand – and he aims to

impress coach Steve McNamara enough to earn a call-


“The more games you play and the more competitive the games are – the bigger games bring out the best in me personally,” he said.

“It’s only going to help us for what is a tough three games against New Zealand at the end of the year and I know I want to be involved in it more than anything.

“But at this time of year you’re concentrating on your club and doing your best for them.”