Morley has chance to prove England point
Adrian Morley may have lost his place in the England squad yesterday, but the veteran Warrington Wolves forward is not taking his eye off the ball at club level.
Morley’s name has been a permanent fixture on England team-sheets over the last decade but coach Steve McNamara decided that his form since returning from a neck injury has not been good enough to warrant a place in his party to face the Exiles.
The 35-year-old prop will have an instant chance to show McNamara he has got it wrong tonight, though, when he leads his men out to face Leeds Rhinos.
The Wolves are second in the table and need a win to close the gap on leaders Wigan Warriors, while Leeds are reeling in ninth, having been drubbed by the Warriors last weekend.
But Morley is reading little into that and wants his players to be on their guard against the reigning champions.
“Last week’s result between Leeds and Wigan was both a show of strength and a show of weakness,” he told the Warrington Guardian.
“I thought Leeds had an off day and Wigan were showing that they are on fire at the moment.
“I think Leeds got a bit shellshocked and when that happens against a side with so much momentum you can see big scores racked up.
"That was a harsh lesson for them, because no one wants to be beaten like that at any ground, let alone at home.
“They will have done a lot of hard work this week and a lot of soul searching and they will want a big performance against us.”
Warrington will be without the services of hooker Michael Monaghan for the clash, while Leeds are shorn of half-back Danny McGuire.
Tonight’s other game pits Bradford Bulls up against St Helens.
The Bulls are still in the midst of a financial crisis that is showing no signs of ending, with former chairman Peter Hood currently engaging in an open dispute with the club’s current board.
On the field, though, things look rosy, with Monday’s win over Castleford Tigers putting Mick Potter’s men back in the play-off places.
Full-back Brett Kearney has been a key player in their form throughout their off-field worries, and is preferring to focus solely on playing matters.
“If we play well enough in the second half of the season, we want to be looking at finishing sixth or seventh,” he told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
‘We don’t want to be the last team in the eight. We want to win the majority of our games and, if we do that, we are going to get a spot in the play-offs.
“We are putting ourselves in a position to win every game. Every game bar two this season we have been on contention for, and we just have to improve on that.”