Wildcats boss wary of “gung- ho” Leigh

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats head coach Brian Smith
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats head coach Brian Smith
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Wakefield have a chance to take another major stride towards Super League survival when they take on a side coach Brian Smith labels as dangerous.

The Championship’s leading club Leigh demonstrated their top-flight credentials by claiming two Super League scalps in the Challenge Cup this year but Salford gained their revenge in the second round of the Super 8s Qualifiers last week and the Wildcats will have the chance to follow suit at the Leigh Sports Village on Saturday afternoon.

The Centurions have also lost to Hull KR in the Super 8s so far to leave themselves struggling to gain automatic promotion but Smith, whose side broke their duck against Bradford last Saturday, has some sympathy for Paul Rowley’s men as they battle the odds and he is determined not to under-estimate them.

“It’s a tough ask for Championship teams, especially Leigh and Bradford who have been so dominant,” said Smith, who has experienced forward Ali Lautiiti available for the big game. “It’s easy to get into bad habits when you’re winning by large margins.

“They faced a tough draw but Leigh aren’t going to be any different to how they’ve been for the last couple of years.

“Paul Rowley seems to have a real gung-ho attitude, an attacking philosophy, and they’re dangerous, we know because they beat us in the Cup here earlier in the season.

“So we know first-hand what they are capable of if we allow them to get some momentum.

“I understand why lots of people were thinking Leigh were a fair chance to go up and they still are, certainly if they beat us at the weekend.

“We just need to make sure we get our job done.”

With one Championship club guaranteed a place in the million-pound play-off tie to determine the final Super League place for 2016, it is not quite the last-chance saloon for Leigh but Rowley knows the importance of Saturday’s game.

“I reckon on Saturday we’re playing for a chance of fourth spot,” he said “If we lose against Wakefield, then we’re battling for fifth spot at best.”