In The Second Of A Two Part Feature With Half Back-Come-Hooker, Josh Wood, David Clegg Continues His Series Reviewing the Season Through The Eyes Of Up And Coming First Teamers
The Easter Monday fixture at Huddersfield may have been a good start to his call up to first team duties, but for Josh Wood the following week’s visit to Wakefield was something of a letdown, with the whole team underperforming, throughout.
“The Wakefield game was a disappointment,” is his assessment. “For me, I had gone from winning my two previous games and then losing this one. Not only was the team not firing on all cylinders, my own game was off, as well.
“I was fully aware that things were not going well whilst I was playing. It was a pity because a win there would have helped us, later in the season.”
The toughest win, which they were to grind out 14-10, came the following week at home to Leeds. This was all the more so after having lost the Wakefield fixture. The game also signalled a change of position for Josh, with a move to hooker, following upon Rob Lui’s return to the halfback role.
“We knew that Leeds were showing signs of improvement after their big win over Hull, 20-18, the week before,” he informs me.
“I came off the bench after twenty-five minutes, but I felt thoroughly tested by them for the full length of time I was on, purely as a result of the potential which we all knew to be within their team. It’s good playing against sides like that because it really keeps you on your toes.”
His run of Super League matches was interrupted the following week, by the Challenge Cup tie, at Hunslet.
“That was a nice game to play in, but it was vital we didn’t take them too lightly,” he confides. “It was a bit like the match I played up in Newcastle, for North Wales, but once we had got well in front we were able to use the rest of the game to practise some of the things we were going to use in the next match, against Catalans.”
Having been one of the try scorers, from a classic dummy which split the defence wide open allowing him to go through under the posts, it is little wonder he enjoyed it so much. All good things come to an end, however, and the following week’s sojourn to the south of France brought his season to a infuriatingly premature conclusion, when he was injured tackling Dave Taylor, of all people.
“I’d only been on the field for five to seven minutes, when I got myself at the wrong angle in a tackle,” he ruefully reflects. “I knew it was serious from the incredible pain. It was the worst I’ve known in my life.”
Next Time David Clegg Speaks With Growing Utility Back, Niall Evalds