Warrington coach Tony Smith has taken aim at the heavy Easter schedule, saying the expectations put on players in this period is bordering on cruelty.
Warrington defeated Widnes yesterday 28-10 to stay undegeated. They face Hull FC on Monday, their third game in 10 days, before backing up against Wigan on Friday.
“It’s tough work on all of them,” Smith said after the Widnes match.
“To subject those boys to another game of rugby league in three days’ time borders on cruelty.
“If you look at what they get ready to do and what they go through to get into that game and then they’ve got to do it again on Monday, it’s tough. But they’re tough boys, they’ll roll their sleeves up and see how they go.”
The Warrington players spent time in a mobile cryotherapy chamber at the Halliwell Jones Stadium after the Widnes game.
“We’re at David Lloyds for two days to try and recuperate, try to get the right food and nutrition in them, the right sort of recovery as best we can,” Smith said.
“Training-wise, you can’t really do too much. They’ll have a light run on Sunday but really it’s all about recovery now.
“They’ll watch some video of Hull and in terms of tactics and honing in on things being specific to Hull, you can’t really do that.
Smith addmited his was sick and tired of being asked if his view of the busy Easter peiod.
“Unless somebody keeps saying it, and a few of us do, we might just end up keep doing it to the players,” he said.
“I don’t want to come across as being negative about it, nor say it’s a good thing when it’s not. Somebody’s got to speak up for them.
“The game’s getting faster, the players are getting stronger, fitter and faster but we expect them to bash into each other at high velocities and then recover in quicker time.
“We’ve been a lot more sensible this year with the short turnarounds. We had a heap of them last year with short turnarounds with Thursday games, and then Sunday to Friday games.
“We’ve been a little bit smarter in some of that but we need to take it a step further.
“I think there are some sensible people starting to talk that way now. And I think it’s more about quality than quantity. We could schedule a fantastic game each day on TV to get all our TV games over the Easter period.”