Wildcats loose-forward Danny Washbrook says the players must step-up to the plate when a depleted squad heads over to St. Helens on Friday night.
The ever-present Washbrook will make his 35th consecutive appearance for Wakefield at Langtree Park as part of a Wildcats team hit hard by injuries to key players.
With skipper Danny Kirmond and Andy Raleigh (both knee) already sidelined, Trinity were dealt further blows with Tim Smith (calf) missing out and both Ali Lauitiiti and Justin Poore finding the short turnaround from Sunday’s draw against Salford too big an ask as they carry knocks, although both are expected to return against Leeds Rhinos.
Super League XVII hitman Washbrook says the absence of those key personnel means it’s up to other players to take up the mantle of seniority against the Saints.
“A lot of the boys to enjoy that and myself, Richie (Mathers) and Pauly (Aiton) have had Rich speak to us and say that we’ve got to step it up,” Washbrook told Wildcats TV.
“There is a big chunk missing and they’re people that are big misses for the team. We’ve got to step up and the young lads who have come in like Kyle Trout and Chris Annakin, I think they’ve done a really good job and really stepped up.
“Chris and Kyle both train really well and now they’re putting it onto the field as well. Chris didn’t get a shot last year but really took his chance against London and he’s took to it really well.”
Washbrook crossed for a try in the 23-23 draw with Salford City Reds last time out and says the team know that their performance level must be raised from that game in order to compete with the ever-improving Saints side.
The Wildcats had a taste of what St. Helens can do under Nathan Brown in pre-season, but Washbrook believes that the visitors are a much improved team to the one that made the journey in January and will be much more competitive.
“It’s always a tough ask going over to Saints. We went there in pre-season and didn’t perform very well but we’ve come a long way since that game I think. We know what we’ve got to do to be in the game and it’s up to us now to do that.
“I think as long as we’re in the contest then we’ve got a chance of winning the game. We’ve just got to get a control of the stuff that we can control. We can’t control what they do or the referee, we can only do what we can do. I think if we do that then we’re definitely in with a chance.
“They’ll be wanting to get it (a first home win) a lot for the fans and probably for a bit of confidence. Saints’ ground has been a bit of a fortress over the years. They’ve got some very good players and they might have some senior players missing. It’s going to be a tough battle for us but it’s one we’re ready for.”
You can watch the full interview with Washbrook by clicking HERE.
Tickets for the game against Saints are no longer available from the Wildcats retail stores but can be purchased on the night priced at £21 for adults, £15 for concessions and juniors just £10.
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