The Liam Farrell Column: The reason we are finishing strongly

Liam Farrell in action against Wakefield
Liam Farrell in action against Wakefield

We’ve had a tendency to perform better in the second-half of our games this year.

But it’s not just a case of us starting slowly.

Yes, we want to cut the errors and you’ll find as the season goes on, teams will improve. We spoke about how we fell 16-0 down against Widnes – we want to make sure that doesn’t happen, because we’re making it tough for ourselves.

But I think a large part of our stronger finishes has come down to the fact that we’re reaping the rewards late on for our earlier work.

Sam Tomkins, for example, scored a great breakaway try at the end of our game against Widnes – but it wasn’t the best chase by them, and earlier in the game, their defence was better and he wouldn’t have had the space to exploit.

Shaun Wane has openly said we’ve not got the biggest of teams, and when the bigger blokes tire, we like to think our shape becomes more effective.

So an attack, for example, in the first half against

Wakefield may be closed down. But the same attack may be more effective in the second half because they are tiring, and give us more time to play and perfect some of the things we’ve worked on in pre-season.

So it’s not always as simple as us improving as the game goes on.

Overall, we were pretty happy with our 30-18 win on Sunday. They had been travelling well, and had won their first four games, and I thought they turned up ready to play.

In the first-half, it was a real arm-wrestle before we managed to pull away after the break.

During the game we saw Morgan Escare play at half-back, allowing Sam Tomkins to stay at full-back.

Sam is a really classy player and on top of that, every time Morgan has played, he has caused some problems. Waney is obviously trying out different things but there’s no doubt they are both big assets for us.

Morgan’s English is much, much better than a year ago – he’s pretty good with the calls, so that’s not an issue on the pitch.

We had a female match official for our game – the first time in Super League.

I’m all for it, I think it’s great we’ve got more women involved.

We’ve got a women’s team now, and the more people we can get refereeing, the better the game will be. We travel to Castleford on Sunday and I’m well aware we’ve not played well against them for a while.

They have been to our place and done a job, we’ve been to their place and been embarrassed.

It’s not been a lack of effort, we’ve just been well-beaten by a better side.

Hopefully we can put that right this weekend, and we’ll go there with a game-plan to put in place, but we know it won’t be easy – it never is at their place.

Some have suggested they’re not as formidable as 12 months ago, but they were always going to be on the back foot because of the start the had last year when they were on fire – it was a hard marker to be judged by.

Castleford have got pretty-much the same team as last season, they’ve won three of their four games and the one defeat they’ve had was to St Helens, who haven’t been beaten this year, so we’ll

expect as tough a challenge as last year.