Super League: Warrington Wolves aiming for Grand Final despite losing Adrian Morley
Prop Paul Wood believes Warrington have the strength in depth to go all the way in 2014 - even without Adrian Morley.
Last Updated: 11/02/14 3:49pm
The Wolves have been the bridesmaids in the Grand Final for the past two seasons; having been beaten by Leeds in 2012, they then surrendered a 16-2 lead to lose to Wigan last October at Old Trafford.
Morley played in both games but has moved on during the winter, the Salford-born prop returning to his roots to join the big-spending Red Devils.
To try and fill the sizeable void left by the exit of the forward Warrington have signed former New Zealand international Roy Asotasi. With several youngsters also coming through the ranks at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Wood is confident they have plenty of power up front for the campaign ahead.
"He's a big loss," the 32-year-old told Sky Sports about former team-mate Morley.
"He's been a massive influence on the field, but also off it. A lot of the lads looked up to him and he's been one of the best prop forwards in Super League for a number of years now.
"But we will adapt well. We've a lot of young kids with a lot of enthusiasm coming through. It's also time for the likes of myself and a few other lads to step up.
"We've bought in a player with a fantastic pedigree in Roy Asotasi. He's been a captain of New Zealand. We've got a strong squad and as much as we've lost 'Mozza', I'm sure we will be okay this year."
The final defeat to the Warriors - particularly having been in such a strong position - has been a bitter pill to swallow for Wood and his team-mates, even if they were hampered on the night by injuries.
However Tony Smith's squad are now more determined than ever to get back to the showpiece fixture for a third straight occasion - only this time they are planning to come out on top.
"It was difficult to take, particularly the fact that we were 16-2 up," he added. "We threw the lead away. Circumstances (didn't help), with a couple of injuries meaning a few of our guys were playing out of position.
"But we've had a couple of meetings about it and put it behind us. It's our big focus this year to hopefully go one better."