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OPPOSITION CORNER: Play-off seeking Wakefield will threaten
WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats need to win on Saturday as much as Warrington Wolves do.
While Wolves continue in a three-way battle with Huddersfield Giants and Wigan Warriors for the League Leaders’ Shield, Richard Agar’s men have their work cut out to match last year’s achievement of reaching the play-offs.
Their two-point home defeat to close rivals Bradford Bulls at the weekend leaves them three points adrift of eighth-placed Hull and they can kiss their hopes goodbye with a defeat on Saturday.
It makes them highly dangerous.
The man Wolves will need to keep a close eye on is Australian scrum half Tim Smith.
In the same way that Wolves found Rangi Chase pulling all the strings for Castleford at the weekend, Smith will be behind the Wildcats’ best creativity.
And again like Chase, Smith is a master of the ‘no-look’ pass and capable of deceiving the best of defences.
For him to produce his magic, he needs willing runners and has built up strong combinations with Frankie Mariano, skipper Danny Kirmond and former New Zealand international Ali Lauitiiti.
Aussie Justin Poore and Kyle Amor have been providing the grunt down the middle to put them on the front foot.
Papua New Guinean hooker Paul Aiton can be a real handful from dummy half and full back Richie Mathers – a two-times Challenge Cup winner with Warrington – will need no introduction to The Halliwell Jones Stadium crowd.
All in all, it is a very capable Wakefield team that has pushed current champions Leeds Rhinos to the wire twice in recent weeks.
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