Morris: Show we can compete

  • Wigan Warriors Women’s Jodie Morris previews Sunday’s Women’s Challenge Cup game against Salford.
  • Morris: “With it being the first home game of the season the team are very excited and especially to perform in front of a home crowd and show them how much our pre season has paid off.”
  • Wigan Warriors Women v Salford Red Devils Women, Sunday 21st May, 12pm K.O. Robin Park Arena.

Wigan Warriors Women’s Jodie Morris said the team need to ‘keep focused on the task in front’ as they prepare to face Salford in their final Challenge Cup group game.

With two wins from two in the group stages already, Morris reflected on the games against Cardiff and Featherstone: “Firstly the Cardiff game was a tough and physical game, which we expected. There were still things to work on after that game but as a team we felt we had massively improved. Cardiff challenged our defence especially in the last quarter mainly down to our lack of discipline and some errors.

“The game against Featherstone was also another very tough and physical game, which again we very much expected especially because of the scoreline last year which saw Featherstone beat us by 2-points. Going into that game we knew they’d still be on a high after that win and we knew we had to give them everything, our defence had to be on point alongside our line speed and attack. They challenged us up the middle and out wide but our defence won us the game.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s fixture, she said: “Going into this weekend, we can expect Salford to be ready and raring to go, especially after the defeat for them during pre season against us. Salford will bring everything to the game and not leave anything on the field, they are a big physical and agile side who when have time perform very well but when pressured into playing they can make mistakes. They will challenge us all over the field with everything they have but I’m sure our pack will be prepared for it.”

The game will be the first for the Women’s team at Robin Park Arena in 2023: “With it being the first home game of the season the team are very excited – especially to perform in front of a home crowd and show them how much our pre-season has paid off.”

The Warriors are undefeated so far across pre-season, Super League, Challenge Cup and Nines competition in 2023, though Morris stressed that the importance of keeping focused: “It is very important to keep focused on the task in front of us, it’s very easy to be distracted and to overlook the “easier” games, which can affect how we perform in these games.

“Making it a clean sweep all the way through the year is what we are striving for, but taking every game as it comes and not get too ahead of us is what we want more. Having a clean sheet for all the games will give us a good stepping stone to lead us into the more challenging games and to have a clean sheet behind us will give us that bit more confidence we need.”

She added: “Being unbeaten all season so far is a massive achievement, the fact our squad is so young tells you more than you think. We may not be one of the bigger sides but we are a physical, young and agile side which proves difficult to handle. The squad this year is fantastic, the atmosphere in training and game days are better, the way we want to prove a point and show we can compete at the top is huge for us and we are well on our way to that.”

Morris is able to compete both for the First Team and Women’s Academy, something she is relishing: “Being a part of both the Academy and First Team gives me plenty of opportunities to get game time under my belt and playing pretty much every week gives me the chance to improve week-in, week-out and to show myself where I am up to.

“The step up from Academy to First Team initially was huge, but I adapted fairly quick. Being given the chance to play alongside internationals such as Vicky Molyneux, Georgia Wilson and Carys Marsh is huge as it shows me the types of standards I need to get to in order to compete at that level. I have found my progression massively change since debuting last year, my fitness has improved, I have gotten stronger, more agile and a lot more confident in the way I play and where I play.”

The draw for the Quarter Finals of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 5 Live next Friday night, May 26. Tickets for the historic Betfred Challenge Cup Finals Day at Wembley Stadium on August 12 (also including the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final) are on sale from £20 for adults and £10 for Under-16s Rugby League (rugby-league.com) 

Friday 19 May 2023