Warrington Wolves top try scorer Joel Monaghan hopes for final fling

Joel Monaghan hopes for final fling

Michael Monaghan playing against Catalan Dragons in Perpignan last Friday. Pictures by Mike Boden

Wolves' top try scorer Joel Monaghan

First published in Sport
Last updated
by , Sports reporter

JOEL Monaghan admits he would love to see his brother retire on a cup-winning high.

Joint-skipper Michael Monaghan will bring his playing career to a close at the end of this season, having joined Warrington Wolves in 2008.

The hooker put in a man-of-the-match performance on his return from a calf tear at Catalan, and Joel believes he deserves to bow out with some silverware.

“It would be great,” said the Australian winger. “We don’t talk about that, but personally I think after what he’s done for this club and how he’s handled himself I’d love to see him go out with some big games.

“What will be, will be, but he doesn’t like talking about that. He pretty much puts everything into every game he plays and we saw that at the weekend.

“His first week back in 10 weeks, played 80 minutes, throwing his head around like he always does.

“I think it’s a credit how he’s handled the injury. I think he wanted to be back for this game and he’s worked hard to get back.”

Michael Monaghan was one of three experienced squad members to return from injury in Perpignan, alongside Trent Waterhouse and Simon Grix.

“It was a necessity that we had to give these blokes a week before and see if they’re right to play and have the opportunity to rest some others,” added Wolves’ top try scorer.

“For us to have them here, the big senior players, they’re big personalities around the club and just having them calms the place down. The young blokes enjoy having those blokes around.

“The three of them are probably three of our best, so big boss man (Tony Smith) has got a few headaches with what team he picks.

“Whatever team he goes with hopefully we can go out there and do the job.”

But, having experienced semi-final success against Huddersfield Giants in 2012 followed by defeat to Hull FC last year, Monaghan knows there are no second chances in the cup.

“It’s hard to explain how good you feel when you win to when you lose, with this competition there’s no second chance,” explained the 32-year-old.

“With the league you lose, you’re back next week, but with the cup that’s it for another year. To be so close and fall at the last hurdle hurts. I’m sure Leeds feel the same and it should be a close game.”

Monaghan says playing at Langtree Park, where Wolves are unbeaten, will not hold any psychological advantage for the players, but feels reaching the Challenge Cup Final would show how far the side have progressed this season.

“For the fans, they don’t have to travel too far. We’ve got great fans and it’s 15 minutes up the road, which helps,” he said. “But we can’t think with our record there that it’s going to happen for us.

“The blokes who have come in this year have been great for us. Losing those experienced players, we struggled a bit at the start.

“Once we had our combinations, a few blokes in form, it ticked along. It would be a great achievement from where we were at the beginning of the year.”

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