THERE’S never a good time to play two games of rugby league in four days but the Easter double certainly came at the wrong point for Wolves.
Supporters had hardly had chance to revel in the bragging rights over Widnes and enjoy the year’s first crushing home win when the world came crashing down on them at Castleford Tigers on Monday.
If Wolves had made a good start to the season, I’m sure there would have been more sympathy for the awful showing at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle and the way the team folded after any chance of victory had gone.
But many saw it as a return to the Super League form shown on numerous other outings this season – lacking in creativity and intensity.
The inconsistency is highly frustrating.
But when harking back to the performances of previous seasons, we should also remember the position the squad is now in.
The team on display against high-flying Castleford included 13 personnel and positional changes from the side that took on Wigan Warriors in last October’s Grand Final.
Some of the change is as a result of departures, others as a consequence of mounting injuries, but it is a lot in a short space of time.
And from week-to-week selections this season, head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith has made four changes twice, six alterations twice, five and seven amendments once. The least number of changes he has made is two – on two occasions.
Injuries, the freshening up process of players, and dropping young players back to Championship level as part of their learning process has accounted for that.
Bearing that in mind, it is easy to see why there is inconsistency while this new-look team ‘finds itself’.
I’ve no doubt some of the tinkering is being done now to find the right formula for later in the year, when trophies are won and lost.
There is clear sense and logic to that from a playing perspective, especially with the play-offs system, but it clashes with the way some fans see things. They want to be entertained all year, they want to be celebrating top-drawer wins all year, especially after paying up front.