Leigh v Wakefield: Smith ready to provide icing on the cake again for Trinity

BRIAN SMITH: Preparing his side to avenge their Challenge Cup defeat against Leigh.
BRIAN SMITH: Preparing his side to avenge their Challenge Cup defeat against Leigh.
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WAKEFIELD head coach Brian Smith has urged his pack to deliver the platform for namesake Timmy Smith to work his magic again today.

They face a crucial game at Championship front-runners Leigh Centurions looking to gain two more points towards securing their Super League safety.

They picked up only their fourth league win of the season, and first in the Qualifiers, when defeating Championship side Bradford Bulls 48-18 a week ago.

Smith, the gifted Australian scrum-half, was central to that emphatic success and proved unplayable at times as he continually unpicked the visitors.

Coach Smith, who worked with the 30-year-old when still a rookie emerging at Parramatta Eels, said: “Timmy’s one of those guys that if the rest lay a platform for him like that, he can ice the cake.

“We’ve not had enough of those games where they have dominated enough for him to do his stuff but he was right in the attacking groove against Bradford

“The big boys got so many quick play-the-balls for him to play off, they got lots of yardage and we broke all sorts of records with our stats in that department. But Timmy’s distribution of the ball and telling try-scoring plays… there’s not too many better when there’s that sort of platform and we’ll be trying for that again at Leigh on Saturday.”

There has been some surprise that the big-spending Centurions – favourites from the second tier to earn promotion – are still awaiting their first Qualifiers win.

Losing narrowly to Challenge Cup finalists Hull KR in their opener was the first time they had been beaten at home in two years but they were soundly defeated at Salford on Sunday.

Asked if he is surprised by that, Smith said: “Yes and no.

“I understand why lots of people were thinking that Leigh had a chance to go up and they still have – they certainly will if they beat us on the weekend. But they had a tough draw facing two Super League sides first-up and I don’t think Leigh are going to be any different to what we expect.

“(Coach) Paul Rowley seems to have a gung-ho attacking philosophy and they are dangerous.

“We know that as they did it to our guys in the Challenge Cup game and we anticipate they won’t change for anyone so it’s up to us to stop them.

“The guys haven’t talked about that Cup defeat to Leigh but I mentioned it in so much as it’s all I had to say regards what they can do if we let them get momentum; we know first-hand.”

Smith knows first-hand just what Leigh’s Fuifui Moimoi, the club’s marquee signing, is capable of, having also worked with the veteran juggernaut Kiwi prop during his time at Parramatta.

“Fuifui is a personality player and he has got profile,” he said, about the dreadlocked forward.

“He did some fantastic things while I was coaching at Parramatta and had passages in the game that were the deciding factor.

“It’s not often you can say that about a front-rower and he did it a lot.

“It’s a long time ago and he’s not as quick as he wa but you can’t take the size away from him and he’s still a threat.”