Warrington coach Tony Smith has admitted he’s “furious” that this weekend’s opponents Huddersfield were afforded the luxury of Bank Holiday Monday off while most other teams had to contend with the rigours of another double-header weekend.
Huddersfield did not have to play on Monday due to the town’s football team, Huddersfield Town, earning promotion to the Premier League via the play-off final.
But Smith has hit at out at the decision to allow that game with St Helens to be knocked back to the Challenge Cup weekend, insisting that the RFL have handed the Giants a “huge advantage”. St Helens also get the same turnaround ahead of their clash with Castleford, whose coach has also aired his concerns.
“I don’t blame Daryl Powell,” Smith said. “I’m furious for different reasons.
“For them it’s the league leaders that’s at stake. Huddersfield are breathing down our neck at the other end of the league and to give them a huge advantage is ridiculous. It almost penalises you for being successful in the Challenge Cup.
“We’ve copped a battering from two top teams and they’re putting their feet up in some Jacuzzi.”
Smith, speaking after the Wolves’ 38-12 home defeat to Salford on Monday, did not stop there, saying the prospect of two double-header weekends to fit in with England coach Wayne Bennett’s plans for a pre-season training camp in Dubai – which never actually happened – has been unfair for those teams who have had to endure it.
“This is the Wayne Bennett year because the World Cup means everything and the rest of us have got to soak it up,” Smith said.
“We all bought into it, we all said we’d do it for the World Cup and, then when it comes to it, they have a request and they lay it on player welfare.
“Don’t they care about the other 10 teams? It’s just ridiculous.
“To be fair in this competition, you can’t just pick and choose when you’re going to play teams and not play teams. It’s just crazy and unfair.
“That’s our competition, that’s our administration, it’s just where we’re at at the moment. We’ve got to get on with it. We’re going to dust ourselves off and go and do a job next week over at Huddersfield.”