Smith: We’ve got our own injuries to worry about

Wakefield coach Brian Smith has sympathy for Castleford and their crocked skipper Michael Shenton but contends the Wildcats have their own injury concerns ahead of their Super League derby today.

The two West Yorkshire clubs meet at the Jungle and the Tigers will be without their influential captain for the whole season after he injured his ACL in round one.

Smith feels for Shenton but says the Wildcats also have their own injury problems to contend with.

“No one likes to see that. But I don’t think anybody at Wakefield heard too many people crying when we were missing 17 and 18 players at a time last year,” he said.

“We respect that they’ve lost an important player, but we’ve got no Mickael Simon, no Scott Moore and no Ritchie Owen this weekend.”

Wakefield go into the game having been heavily defeated 32-6 by Castleford in a friendly just five weeks ago.

“They’d just come back from their trip to Spain and they all looked as if they were right at their peak, and we were right off it,” Smith admits.

“So we got a bit of a spanking.”

Their neighbours also put 58 and 56 points on the Wildcats in two Super League fixtures in 2015.

Smith is wary of the potent Tigers’ attack and will use the power of the derby contest to drive his players on to buck their losing trend against Castleford.

“We copped it off them at our home ground last year when I was there,” the veteran coach said.

“They were raging, red-hot. They’re a fully-fledged top eight, maybe top four team so if anything we’re going up in standards this weekend again.

“I know just exactly how much it means to fans but to be honest as coach you’ve got to factor it in because you know when players are in that sort of emotional state that can surprise by the level of intensity they can get to.

“We’re not expecting anything but we’ll need to be at our absolute best. And we don’t know what our best is yet, but we’ve got to be up there and at it if we’re going to compete with them.”

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