Warrington Wolves will be at home for the first time in 4 weeks this Sunday. Looking ahead to this weekend's crunch clash against rivals Bradford Bulls Paul Wood has identified where he feels their strengths lie.
"They've been really impressive. I've watched them a few times on Sky this year. I think Francis Cummins has done a magnificent job there and it's good to see an English coach doing really well too. Especially with the troubles they had last year, I don't think people expected them to be in the position that they are in at the moment, sitting one point behind us. But credit to them they are playing really well as a team and are attacking really well so we need to be on the ball this week if we are going to put in a good performance against them.
"I think Jarrod Sammut has been a stand-out player for them; he'll try anything during a game you've got to really keep your eye on him. Then you've got Kearney at the back who's been playing really well - I think he's one of the leading try-scorers at the minute in Super League, he's scoring tries a lot. Matty Blythe when he's been playing for Bradford has been one of their performers - we've watched highlights and Matty's been involved in quite a lot of the plays, apparently he could be back playing against us this week so will be one to watch as well."
"It feels like forever since we played here last. Just looking out at the pitch it looks like it's done it some favours - it looks a lot firmer and a lot greener. Hopefully we'll have a nice sunny day, a firm pitch and a big crowd at the Halliwell Jones, and hopefully a good win."
Paul has been working really hard this season and took a well earned rest over the weekend where he watched the team play in the cup round from the sidelines. He was really impressed with the work the team put in and commented:
"It was a good performance. I was happy to see the two debutants, Glenn Riley and Danny Bridge, I thought they put in good performances and didn't look out of place whatsoever; they did really well. I thought we got a couple of issues right that we'd talked about through the week in terms of defending. Keighley attacked pretty well and threw a lot at us but we worked really hard in defence and got a few things sorted that we needed to which was pleasing but more importantly we got the win."
Moving forwards Warrignton Wolves are now looking to defend their Trophy and Paul believes his team have started the season well.
"It's good to know we are the holders of it but it takes a lot of hard work to maintain it. We have done it before so we will be working really hard to do it again but we are looking one week at a time that's when we tend to be successful - when we look one week at a time and we don't look too far into the future. We've got a big game coming up against Salford at the Halliwell Jones which should be good. They are only 25 minutes down the road so it's a bit of a local derby for us. They've been a bit of bogey team for us over the years, they've always managed to turn us over when we've been expected to beat them but we have put some big scores in against them too so it should be an interesting game."
"We've started reasonably well. I think the expectations of Warrington, at the moment, are pretty high so a lot of people probably don't think we've done that well, but we've started okay. It tends to be this time of year that team's start gelling and start putting performances together. Once you get past that Easter period the league starts ironing itself out and you know which teams are going to be there or there about. Performance wise we are looking to kick on from here now and build some momentum hopefully."
As always we will be watching with baited breath and supporting Paul on Sunday. We are proud to sponsor such an impressive player.