Duo seek instant improvement
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Hull KR will both be aiming to bounce back from Super League opening-day disappointments when they meet at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium tomorrow.
While the Wildcats were routed 40-6 at Bradford Bulls, Rovers suffered a 32-24 home defeat by Catalan Dragons and coach Craig Sandercock is looking for his side to make amends.
“We’ve had a look at the areas we need to improve on from last weekend and we will improve on them this week,” he said.
“On Monday and Tuesday we had a good look at the video, as we do every week, and then from Wednesday onwards we’ve been concentrating on the task in hand at Wakefield on Saturday night.”
Sandercock will give a debut to former Wakefield back-row forward Dale Ferguson, who has joined the Robins on a month’s loan from Huddersfield Giants to offset the loss of Rhys Lovegrove with a knee injury.
Wakefield have former Hull KR and Huddersfield forward Andy Raleigh back from injury and are hoping hugely-influential half-back Tim Smith will also be fit after missing the Bradford opener with an ankle problem.
Sandercock added: “They’ve got a good, solid side and Tim Smith is pretty important to them. He controls what they do and we need to be wary of his kicking game as well.”
Wakefield coach Richard Agar knows Smith is key to his side’s attack but he is hoping his forwards can “muscle” up after being physically dominated by the Bradford pack last Sunday.
“We’ve looked at it and we’ve put it to bed,” he said. “We’re hoping we’ve made the necessary adjustments.
“It might not be picture-perfect overnight but I think it’s going to be a damn sight better than it was last week.
“We’ll make a call on Tim Smith at our last field session. He’s making good progress and is probably rated 50-50 at this stage.
“He’s back running and doing some twisting and turning but we want to make sure he’s 100 per cent.”
In tomorrow’s other game, Catalan will be looking to pick up from where they left off at Hull KR when they host Salford City Reds at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
The Dragons will have overseas pair Brent Webb and Zeb Taia making their Perpignan debuts in Laurent Frayssinous’ first home match as head coach.
Salford coach Phil Veivers is still patching up his side following the mass exodus of players at the end of last season and delays to his rebuilding process due to the club’s protracted takeover.
Veivers is still without experienced centre Martin Gleeson and he has called up young full-back Niall Evalds for his Super League debut following the loss of winger Danny Williams with a hamstring injury in last week’s opening 42-0 defeat by Wigan Warriors.
The City Reds’ promising half-back Theo Fages will make his second Super League appearance in the country of his birth.