WAKEFIELD Trinity veteran Danny Kirmond maintains that, as much as they are desperate to get their first win of the season tonight, there are no “panic stations” at the club.
Chris Chester’s side have lost their opening two games and face another difficult test when Challenge Cup holders Catalans Dragons arrive in West Yorkshire.
Wakefield have been hindered by a raft of early injuries with prop Craig Huby and second-row Kirmond joining hooker Tyler Randell on the sidelines.
These are significant absentees especially against a pack the size of their French visitors.
“As long as you’ve not got a win the pressure does build; it builds on everyone,” admitted Kirmond, with Trinity looking to emulate the top-five finishes of the previous two years.
“I think to get that first win would ease that, but we are a team that can deal with pressure.
“You could see that last year; we started all right then lost quite a few games in a row.
“We’ve been in that situation before, then, but we’re three games in and not too worried.
“There’s no panic stations, but we want to get that first win. We have for the last two weeks.
“I think we were unlucky against Saints and it would be nice to get it Thursday.”
Wakefield certainly pressed last year’s League Leaders hard before ultimately losing 24-18 following a late try.
It was clearly a marked improvement on their opening-day no-show at London Broncos, an alarming 42-24 defeat, and Kirmond knows they will have to improve further against Steve McNamara’s side tonight.
Catalans have strengthened their team with the signing of Wigan’s England full-back Sam Tomkins plus former England scrum-half Matty Smith from St Helens and they picked up their first win in impressive style against Huddersfield Giants.
Kirmond – who has failed to overcome a biceps injury suffered in the Saints loss – said: “They are a really dangerous team.
“Last year winning the Challenge Cup was a massive achievement for them and the players who’ve come in this year will add a lot more consistency to them.
“Matty Smith, you know what you are getting with him – he’s a seven or above every week.
“He has played in big teams all through and big games, he’s really level-headed and a great general to lead the team around the field.
“Sam Tomkins has played NRL and for England and is just a really dangerous runner of the ball and a threat out the back.
“We know we’ll have to be on our best performance to get the two points, but we’re well prepared for that and we’ve played against all these players before.”
Missing out is hard for the 33-year-old, who had rated his chances of playing as 50-50 earlier in the week. Furthermore that Saints game was only his first Super League appearance since last June having seen last term wrecked by a knee issue.
Kirmond admitted: “It is pretty frustrating. I did it early on, but Chezzy had been into me all week saying I’ve got to play 80.
“I tried to get through it, but in the end it was just too much and I was in quite a bit of pain with it.
“It was more frustration on my own part really because I felt like I was going all right and the team were playing well.
“I was enjoying being back out there and was excited to be part of the team again.
“It’s really tough being injured. It is a weird time, training on your own and you don’t get out on the field with the boys so much.
“Ultimately what we do is a hobby – something we love doing – so when you’re not getting the chance to do that it is really frustrating.
“There were some dark days in my recovery, but to get back out there felt really good.
“I was buzzing for it; I felt like a 21-year-old.
“It’s disappointing then not to play this week. It’s just a little tear in there and I’ve done something to the tendon, but I hope to be right for next week at Leeds.”
He is set to be replaced by England Knights’ James Batchelor as Trinity’s Danny Brough plays his 500th career game.
Kirmond had been looking forward to taking on Catalans’ Kenny Edwards, the powerful and controversial New Zealander second-row.
“He is a really dangerous ball carrier,” said the former Huddersfield Giant of a player who joined from Parramatta Eels last season.
“I think he can do all the things; he has got the highlight reel – the one-handed offload, the footwork and he carries the ball really tough.
“But playing on the right-edge, like I do, you get used to that; a lot of teams have their strike side on the left and you have to deal with a lot of big guys like him.
“You have to use your full edge to defend him and defend as a team.
“That’s the best way to go about it. You can’t solve anything on your own and that’s the case against most players in Super League.
“If you try and solve things on your own that’s when you get found out a bit. If we stick to our system we’ve got a lot of confidence in our defensive structure and hopefully it’ll be good enough to deal with him.”