TONIGHT’S GAME at Widnes Vikings is another step along the learning curve for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ teenage full-back Max Jowitt.
Jowitt is in line to make his sixth appearance of the season, but – despite earning rave reviews for his performances so far – he insists he is far from the finished article.
The England academy star, who came through the ranks at Stanley Rangers, has played in Wildcats’ last four First Utility Super League fixtures, but he stressed: “I am just trying to cement my place in the team, week-in, week-out.
“I am trying to perform and stay consistent, but there’s plenty of fight and hunger in the team.
“There’s not just 17 players who are in the team every week, there’s a fight for positions and that makes training interesting and games on the weekend interesting as well.”
He added: “I am 19 in two weeks and I am still a young pup really. I am just trying to learn from the senior boys. It is great to have players like Bish [Ben Jones-Bishop] and Craig Hall around. In training they are always giving me tips and trying to improve my game and it is helping. Big thanks to them. I am really enjoying it, especially with us getting some wins under our belt.”
Wildcats are looking to get back on track after last Sunday’s 46-28 loss to Hull, which ended a five-game winning run.
“All the lads were a bit down after the game, but it’s just one of those things,” Jowitt said. “I think they were a bit stronger down the middle than us. There were periods in the first half when they got on top and they put consecutive tries on us, but we bounced back.
“We were level at half-time, but then they got on top of us again. It is disappointing, but we need to bounce back this week.”
Jowitt feels Wildcats will take confidence from the way they competed against a top-four team.
“They are a big side and a tough side,” he said.
“They are strong and physical and they can play as well. We know what we need to do this week. Our heads will be up and, hopefully, we can get a win.”
Widnes, who will be without stand-off Kevin Brown due to an ankle injury, have an artificial pitch and Jowitt reckons that could suit Wildcats’ pacy side.
“It is not my favourite pitch. I don’t really like that surface, but it will be a fast game,” he said.
“It is a hard ground and I think the pace will be high. I think we can take the game to them and get the two points.”
Richard Owen, Craig Hall, Chris Annakin and Stuart Howarth are all in contention for a Wildcats recall tonight.
But Reece Lyne (hamstring) and Jon Molloy (ankle) drop out of the matchday reckoning.
Widnes Vikings: from Ah Van, Cahill, Chamberlain, Dean, Dudson, Hanbury, Heremaia, Houston, J Johnstone, Leuluai, Manuokafoa, Marsh, Mellor, O’Carroll, Runciman, Sa, Thompson, White, Whitley.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: from Annakin, Arona, Ashurst, England, Finn, Gibson, Hall, Howarth, T Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Kirmond, Miller, Moore, Owen, Scruton, Simon, Sio, A Tupou.
Referee: Joe Cobb (Leigh).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.