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Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Crunch time for Wildcats
Wakefield are without injured stand-off Martin Moana
The Wildcats are without injured stand-off Martin Moana
Wakefield coach Shane McNally knows his team need a repeat of last year's end-of-season heroics as they visit Halifax on Sunday.

Twelve months ago the Wildcats needed two wins in their last three games, including a final-day nail-biter at Salford, to relegate Huddersfield in their place.

McNally admitted: "I thought Salford would win.

"They had a lot more to play for than Warrington.

"Some of the Warrington players had a dig but some of the others were not too interested."


In the last two games we've played against Halifax, they've beaten us comfortably

Shane McNally
The Wildcats take on Warrington next week, but must first go to Halifax, who secured their own Super League status a week ago.

However, McNally warned that Tony Anderson's Blue Sox will not be going easy despite their survival.

"That's a possibility but I notice Anderson has brought in some players who haven't been getting a game," McNally said.

"There are Super League contracts to play for and they'll be giving it their best shot.

"In the last two games we've played against Halifax they've beaten us comfortably, so we've got to overcome that."

Changes for Halifax

Halifax are without experienced quartet Brett Goldspink, Jim Gannon, Gavin Clinch and Johnny Lawless through injury.

New coach Anderson is deploying winger Lee Greenwood, playmaker Liam Finn, hooker Sean Penkywicz, second-rower Andrew Brocklehurst and prop Chris Birchall for the first time.

Shayne McMenemy takes over as captain.

Anderson said: "We've got a few injuries. At a pinch a couple of them could have played but, because we're safe now, it gives me the chance to take a look at some of the younger players.

"There are a lot of players still playing for contracts here. We've only got 12 players signed for next season and I want about 25.

"I said when I came here that it was a clean slate for everyone.

"I told all the players they would get a chance before the end of the season and that is just what they are getting. It is up to them to take it."

Wakefield miss stand-off Martin Moana, who has a groin strain, but veteran prop Paul Broadbent and goalkicking loose forward Ian Knott both return.


It's a must-win game for both sides
Widnes coach Neil Kelly
In Sunday's other game, both Castleford and Widnes will attempt to snatch the sixth and final play-off place off London Broncos, beaten by Leeds on Friday.

The winners at the Jungle will be in prime position in the final weekend of the regular season, as Vikings coach Neil Kelly admitted.

"It's a must-win game for both sides," said Neil Kelly.

"We could still make the play-offs if we lose to Cas but we would be relying on other people to do a job for us and we would need to beat Halifax in our final game.

"But we are not worried about next week yet, our minds are focused on doing a job."

Battle for fitness

Kelly is hoping that captain Steve Carter, second rower Anthony Farrell, centre Adam Hughes and loose forward Daniel Frame all win their battle for fitness.

But the coach revealed: "If we were playing tonight then none of these players would have made it.

"Hopefully they will respond to treatment and be fit for what is undoubtedly our biggest game of the season."

Castleford coach Graham Steadman has his own injury worries in prop Nathan Sykes, centre Barrie-Jon Mather and back rower Lee Harland, who all missed the Tigers' defeat at Warrington.

The match will mark the last scheduled home appearance of veteran prop Dean Sampson, who retires at the end of the season.


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