posted on 10 September 2015

Matty Ashurst has backed the Wildcats to respond from last week's defeat against Hull KR and rise to the challenge of the in-form Widnes Vikings on Saturday evening.

The Vikings travel to Belle Vue having hammered Bradford Bulls last week and sit comfortably in the Super 8s Qualifiers table, with three wins from four.

However, a win for Trinity on Saturday evening would put the two teams on equal points, as they both look to secure Super League survival.

Although Brian Smith's men were disappointed to lose out to Hull KR last time out, Ashurst says everyone has turned their attention to a huge game game against a Vikings side, who are marshalled round the pitch by the highly-influential Kevin Brown.

"It's a massive game for us," said Ashurst of the fixture as a whole.

"Last weeks result in the end was disappointing and it hurt for few days afterwards because we had plenty of chances to win the game. We've got to move on now though and concentrate on Widnes. Hopefully we can pick up two points which would be hugely important for us if we're to stay up."

"They've got quality players all over the park and we all know Kevin Brown's a very important player for them but they've got other key players like Joe Mellor and Rhys Hanbury. The lads all know they're good across the field and we're wary of that as well as being ready for it."

The 25-year old was quick to underline the quality of team-mate Kevin Locke, who returned to the side at full-back last week and scored two first-half tries as Trinity raced into an early 12-0 lead. Ashurst states that the return of Locke is a massive boost, but also admits that the Wildcats have coped well without him, as the versatile Lee Smith has been in outstanding form.

"He's a real classy player is Kevin." says the Wildcats number 17.

"He's obviously been out for a while and Lee Smith has done a tremendous job at full-back whilst he's been missing. But to come back and play like he did just shows his qualities and we're more dangerous with him in the side."

"Also, with the players Brian's brought in over the last few months we've got some real quality and depth all over the squad now, which is great to keep everyone on their toes for a spot in the team."

2015 has been a tough season for Ashurst, who has been limited to just five appearances during the regular season, but the former St. Helens back-rower is now enjoying a run in the side during the Super 8 Qualifiers and is grateful that his injury is well and truly behind him.

"It's been tough for me, having to watch from the stands for a large part of the season, but Brian asked me when he arrived if I would rather be fit for the business end of the season and obviously everyone wants to play in the big games. It's a good feeling knowing that you're a part of the team in them and I'm really enjoying it."

"Saturday's probably the biggest game so far and we're looking forward to being back at Belle Vue in front of the home fans. They give us a massive boost."


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