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How can Warrington Wolves win their first title in 58 years?
Trent Waterhouse at the end of the Grand Final. He says Wolves just have to get better when it counts
WOLVES were so close to their first championship success in 57 years last October that they could taste it!
So what extra ingredient is needed this time round to satisfy the hunger pains?
Mike Parsons and Chris Terris Taylor asked the players for their views...
Mike Cooper: “I don’t think we can change too much, really.
“We were consistent and beat many of the top teams fairly convincingly.
“Certainly, going into the Grand Final after the performances we put in against Hull and then Saints, we were fairly confident that we were going to get the job done.
“There was a little bit of ill discipline from our part and the game was a lot faster than I expected it to be.
“But it is all experience and teams like Leeds who have been there year after year have experienced it and they know how to win those types of games.
“The Challenge Cup is a completely different game to the Grand Final in my experience. There is a totally different atmosphere, totally different pressure.
“But now we have been there and done it, we cannot turn round any more and say ‘Leeds have the experience, we don’t’. We know what to expect now.”
Trent Waterhouse: “We have just got to get better when it counts.
“We played some great footy at times and then other times we were quite poor.
“So we have to be at our best every game this year and get rid of those slumps.
“We want to win every game this year, that has to be a goal.
“I think we are training a lot harder this year, the boys are ripping in and I think we have another big season ahead of us.”
Chris Hill: “I think it’s a question of repeating the same again added to that bit of experience we’ve added.
“We have a strong, young squad with some great experience in there and with the young lads moving in we have a great mix.
“I think that stands us in good stead for this year.
“Smithy knows what he’s doing with the squad rotation and if any of us are getting tired, there is some clever technology in play to help.
“It is pretty much the same, except this time we don’t want that 15-minute slump in the Grand Final that we had.”
Ben Currie: “We did everything we could last year to be in the Grand Final and just slipped up in the last game.
“Tony Smith likes to rotate players in his team and I’m hoping to get more involvement to do my best for the side.
“Last year was about rotating, we’ve just got to try and focus throughout the games this year.”
Lee Briers: “It’s a question I can’t answer at this point in time.
“We’ve got good continuity of the same squad, though.
“The young lads are a year older – more physically ready, more mentally ready and they’ll push for places in the team all year round.
“But how can we win it? There’s a lot of things that will go on between now and the Grand Final. We’ll set some goals. We’ve just got to keep working hard.
“The pre-season that I’ve seen since my return to training has been really successful and so hopefully that will stand us in good stead.”
Adrian Morley: “Even though we didn’t win it, it was a tremendous year all round in 2012.
“I don’t think there’s one single extra ingredient we need. It’s just about getting it right on the night. Every time we’ve been at Wembley we’ve nailed the performance that day. We just didn’t do it at the Grand Final at Old Trafford.
“I’ve got no magic solution.”
Brett Hodgson: “It’s difficult because some teams will have improved and some might taper off.
“Hopefully, we’ll learn from the experience of appearing in the Grand Final last year. I think it’s much easier to learn from losing something than it is from winning. Your flaws are somewhat hidden when you are progressing and winning games.
“But we’re not even thinking about winning finals at this stage. If you think too far ahead, you lose sight of what you need to get there.
“First thing is to set ourselves some little goals.”