Warrington Wolves boss slams Easter schedule and wants rid

Warrington Wolves boss Tony Smith

Warrington Wolves boss Tony Smith

First published in Sport
Last updated
Warrington Guardian: by , Sports Editor

TONY Smith has branded the Easter double-header schedule as 'horrible' and 'unfair' and wants it scrapped.

He hopes the speculation of a two-match Easter format being dropped for next year is correct.

Smith let rip after Wolves' defeat of Widnes Vikings on Good Friday as he started to consider preparing his squad for a tough test at third-placed Castleford Tigers on Monday, kick off 3.30pm.

"Preparing a team to try and perform to its best in two days is horrible and I feel for the players," he said.

"You put them through a game like today's, they put their bodies on the line and then ask them to do it again.

"The sooner we get rid of it the better. I'm hearing this could be finally happening."

Smith said player welfare has to be taken into consideration.

"It sells our game short as well," he added.

"To think that you can prepare for one of the top teams in the table in two days and that you can overcome all your bumps and bruises and get your tactics right - it sells our game short.

"I'm disappointed that we have to do this again this year.

"Player welfare is the main thing when you're asking some of the boys to back up in two days' time.

"They're still going to have fatigue in their bodies. It's unfair, it shortens the appreciation of what they go through. Hopefully it's over after this year."

Smith will have his players back together for sessions on Saturday and Sunday to try and prepare the best they can for a round which has generated some lopsided scorelines in past years.

Wolves were victims of that with a hefty loss to Catalan Dragons in France in 2012 in a particularly punishing schedule.

"We have to come together again over the weekend," said Smith.

"We've got to flush their bodies and get them all right for hopefully a big performance on Monday.

"We're in on Saturday morning to do our cryotherapy (ice treatment) and massage, as well as to do some review of the Widnes match.

"Then on Sunday morning while everybody's tucking into their Easter eggs they'll be doing their preview for Cas and trying to get a game plan together - all in two days.

"Often you get to see a pretty average game on the second game of the Easter weekend. Why? Because you haven't been able to put much preparation into it and it doesn't really live up to the degree very often."

What Wolves can prepare for is a Cas team that has started the season on fire and one which claimed a 43-20 success at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Good Friday.

"They've always been a tough team to beat at their place, whether they've been hot or not.

"They've got a lot of confidence, a lot of players who are playing with confidence and they're doing well so it's a good challenge."

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