McNally prepared to wait for leading try-scorer Domic

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The Independent Online

The Wakefield coach, Shane McNally, is ready to put his faith in Sid Domic for tonight's Super League play-off at Wigan.

The Wakefield coach, Shane McNally, is ready to put his faith in Sid Domic for tonight's Super League play-off at Wigan.

The Wildcats' leading try-scorer went off in the first half of the victory at Hull last weekend with a calf strain, but McNally is keeping a place open for him until after a fitness test today.

"I think he's got a real chance," he said. "Sid's not our top try-scorer for nothing and it would be great to have him out there."

Domic has scored 22 tries this season, but McNally does not believe he will push himself for inclusion tonight unless he is sure of lasting the pace.

"The last thing he would want to do is let the team down, but our physio has been doing a lot of work with him and he is quite confident," he said.

If Domic is fit, Jamie Field, back after a fractured cheekbone, will return via the bench; if not, Rob Spicer will move to centre and Field will take his place at loose forward.

McNally has laid heavy emphasis this week on discipline. His side gave away a string of penalties in the first half at Hull and had two players sent to the sin bin and he has told them that they cannot afford to repeat that at the JJB Stadium.

"I thought the sin-binnings were harsh, but the penalties were deserved," he said. "We can't do the same at Wigan with Russell Smith in charge, because he can be pretty severe on those things as well."

The Wigan hooker, Terry Newton, who has had his share of trouble with referees, gets his chance tonight to show that he should retain his Great Britain place in the absence of St Helens' Keiron Cunningham.

Cunningham followed the depressing pattern of recent years by pulling out of this autumn's Tri-Nations yesterday. He needs an operation on a knee injury and will be out of action for four months.

"While it is always disappointing to lose quality players from the squad, it is important to realise that we have other top players who can play in that position," said the Great Britain coach, Brian Noble.

Apart from Newton, who stood in for him in last year's Ashes series, Cunningham's absence could create opportunities for Leeds' Matt Diskin and Saints' other hooker, Mickey Higham.

Widnes have given longer to Frank Endacott, who helped them to avoid relegation this season, to decide whether he will coach them next year. "We think we will hear something next week," said the Widnes director, Tom Fleet.

A new fund has been set up to finance £1,000 rugby league scholarships at Oxford University to encourage players who might otherwise not apply.

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