posted on 18 September 2015

Wakefield Wildcats back-rower Ali Lauitiiti says the team are determined to respond and get back to winning ways tomorrow following last Saturday's disappointing defeat to Widnes.

The Wildcats were unable to cause Widnes any problems last week and must now pick themselves up for a difficult clash with in-form Halifax, who are looking to build on a comprehensive 34-12 victory over Leigh Centurions last time out.

Speaking to the media team, the Trinity number 11 said the squad must be at their best and put last weeks disappointment behind them.

"It's a huge game for us." insists Lauitiiti.

"Halifax have performed really well recently and we've got to be at our best because it's a must-win situation from now on for us."

"Last week was hugely disappointing, not just for us as a team but for all the fans and the coaching staff, everyone associated with the club really. Having said that, we've put it behind us now and worked on the stuff we needed to work on in training and all the boys have trained well so the next thing to do now is put it out on to the field."

Brian Smith has brought fresh faces into the reckoning, with Tom Johnstone, Jordan Crowther and Max Jowitt all named in the 19-man squad and Lauitiiti says that they fully deserve a place in the team after impressing in training.

"It's great for those guys to be in the squad, they've all been involved with the first team now for quite some time and they've trained the house down."

"They're great prospects for the future and will be looking to make an impression. If you look at Tommy for example he's played quite a lot this year and played really well in each performance. Everyone's hungry to impress though and we're expecting a big game from each other."

When the sides met in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup earlier in the season the Wildcats cruised to a 44-16 victory and the 36-year old believes if they are to prevail again tomorrow they must cut out silly mistakes.

"We need to improve some of the basic things I think. We made a lot of silly mistakes last week and if we can fix that up for tomorrow that will help us a lot.

"We've shown we can be competitive against anyone but we've got to put our best foot forward to make sure we just get the two points because as I said earlier it's a must win game."

On a personal note Lauitiiti still proves a handful for opponents with his sheer size and offloading ability but has had a few niggling injuries to contend with this season, the most recent being a slight hamstring problem leading up to last weekend.

However, the New Zealander has been working hard in training and insists he's ready for the sudden death fixtures that Wakefield are now faced with.

"My hamstring was pretty tight last week but thankfully I managed to get through the game. I've been working hard with the physio in training to make sure I'm good for tomorrow."

"It's one we must win and we're all prepared for it."


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