We caught up Warriors forward, Joel Tomkins, to chat about the win at Widnes and this week’s game against Salford.
Joel, a game of two halves against Widnes on Friday night!
“It certainly was! I think in the first half we were on top in the opening 20 minutes, the penalty count was 6-1 in our favour but by half-time it was 6-6. I suppose that tells the story. We were very dominant for the first part of the half but then they got a roll on and scored some points.
“The pleasing thing is we came out in the second half, we were composed and we didn’t try and win the game in the first ten minutes of the half. We built some pressure and scored some points. We also had 12 men for five minutes either side of half time so overall it’s pretty pleasing. There’s things to look at and improve on but I think we have to be happy with how we dealt with that. There’s no doubt we’ll be in that position again at some point in the season, trailing at half time, and if we can go out and be composed like we were then that’s great.”
Our game is all about building pressure and making sure we do that isn’t it?
“Yeah we try to get teams into a grind and go set for set with them in the first 20 minutes of each half and then in the back end of the half we open up a little bit. That wasn’t possible in the first half but in the second I think we were able to do that. That’s what we’ve built our game on since Madge came in in 2010, Waney has changed a few things since he got involved but the basics are still the same. We try to ‘out-enthuse’ the opposition around the middle and score points on the back of that. We’re happy with the way we’re going this season but there’s still some big improvements in us.”
Shaun Wane said he was happy with you and the calming influence you had on the team. As one of the older heads is that something you try to bring to the side?
“Yeah, we didn’t have Sam, John or Faz and a few others. With the pitch they have at Widnes it’s not ideal for the likes of Lockers, Tommy and I with old knee and back issues but we put our hands up this week. Waney asked us to go out there and do a job and I think we all did that.
“In that second half, if you’ve got a young team full of kids they’re probably going to go and try and win it in that opening ten minutes but I thought we stuck to the game-plan really well. Credit to Waney at half time too, he was really calm and collected. He told us what he wanted us to do and we went out there and did it.”
Five wins in a row. Salford at home this Friday stand in the way of making it six!
“Salford had a shocker this weekend but they were up against a very good Saints team who are on a high at the moment. They are a team who can put in a performance like that then put in a really good performance the week after. They’re a bit unpredictable and that makes them a tough team to play against.
“We’ll get a few bodies back. Unfortunately it looks like we may lose Budgie for a while but Tom Davies is over his ankle problem and will come back in and give us something different. We’ll have to be on our mettle and I’m sure we will be.”