Tony Smith accuses RFL of giving Huddersfield an unfair advantage
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 30/05/17 12:03pm
Warrington coach Tony Smith has accused the Rugby Football League of giving fellow strugglers Huddersfield an unfair advantage ahead of their crucial Betfred Super League clash.
The Giants avoided having to play a second match over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend after being given permission to rearrange their round 16 fixture with St Helens because it clashed with the Championship play-off final at Wembley, where the town's football team secured promotion to the Premier League.
The game was rearranged for Friday, June 16, which was a free date for both clubs after they were knocked out of the Challenge Cup.
While Huddersfield were able to rest their players after Friday's game at Wakefield, Warrington suffered a second heavy defeat in four days when they lost 38-12 at home to Salford which saw them drop into the bottom four and a potential relegation battle.
The Giants are one of three teams below them in the table but they can leapfrog Smith's men with victory at the John Smith's Stadium on Sunday.
Similarly, St Helens will go into their game against leaders Castleford refreshed by a 10-day turnaround and Tigers coach Daryl Powell has voiced his criticism of the fixture switch.
"I don't blame Daryl Powell," said Smith. "I'm furious for different reasons.
"For them it's the League Leaders' [Shield] that's at stake. Huddersfield are breathing down our neck at the other end of the league and to give them a huge advantage is ridiculous. It almost penalises you for being successful in the Challenge Cup.
"We've copped a battering from two top teams and they're putting their feet up in some Jacuzzi."
Clubs agreed to play a second double-header, following on from the traditional Easter schedule, to allow England coach Wayne Bennett to take his players away for a pre-season training camp.
That camp was scrapped following opposition from Super League coaches but the cancellation came too late to alter the fixture list.
"This is the Wayne Bennett year because the World Cup means everything and the rest of us have got to soak it up," said Smith.
"We all bought into it, we all said we'd do it for the World Cup and, then when it comes to it, they have a request and they lay it on player welfare.
"Don't they care about the other 10 teams? It's just ridiculous.
"To be fair in this competition, you can't just pick and choose when you're going to play teams and not play teams. It's just crazy and unfair.
"That's our competition, that's our administration, it's just where we're at at the moment. We've got to get on with it.
"We're going to dust ourselves off and go and do a job next week over at Huddersfield."