Wildcats Head Coach, Richard Agar, said it was the improvements in his teams performance and not the result that was the most pleasing factor in their victory over Castleford Tigers.
The home side dominated large swathes of the match and made their superiority tell with eight tries as they made light of some difficult conditions to record a 40-20 success in what was an encouraging performance for the home supporters.
But on the back of a similarly heavy defeat against Catalans Dragons last time out, Agar was reflecting on the improvements made by his squad more than the convincing scoreline
“The scoreline is not really an issue for us but more the improvement in our overall performance which is what we were looking for,” he said after the game.
“We had a tough game in Catalans and there were some reasons for that. We were a little bit lightweight after a tough week of training and we were against a very, very good team so there were certain things we needed to improve in our defence that we felt would give our attack a lot better chance.
“I thought we played patient and controlled in the first half and probably with a little bit better finishing in the first half we could have had another couple of tries.
“We didn’t want the wind to inhibit us in the second half. We thought we’d still get enough opportunities to play some football if we were prepared to graft really hard.
“The biggest improvements for me, undoubtedly was the way we controlled the ruck defensively a lot more. I know we conceded four tries but two were in the last ten minutes and three were from kicks.
“So generally our defensive effort through the centre of the field was much more controlled.”
Trinity face their final warm-up game next Sunday against Batley Bulldogs ahead of the opening round clash with new boys Widnes Vikings on February 3rd, with Agar unlikely to tinker massively with his team to face John Kear’s charges.
“We’re not really massively bothered about scorelines in trial games. Performances have been important and I thought in our performance we got the improvements we were looking for.
“We’ve got another game next week against Batley and some of the guys that have played today will probably feature. We want to keep getting the boys as ready as we can for round one but we’ll also keep some guys on the sideline next week.
“With four of the big fellas that have missed out today, it’ll give them an opportunity to stake a claim for round one.”
Agar conceded that, as expected at such an early stage of the squads development, there were aspects of the game to work on, and it is something he thinks will still take some time yet to fully click into place.
“I think we’re going to find that for a while,” he admitted.
“We are a new team and playing together is going to be important for us. We have done it very limited up to now and there’s always going to be things we can improve on and there were certainly things today that we can improve on.
“We know it’s going to be a long progress. Whilst we’re happy with our improvements in performance we know that we’re a team that has got to keep developing and keep working hard.
“It’ll be a while until we get used to each other’s style but we can be happy with what we’ve turned out today. But there’s a lot more hard work in front of us yet.”
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.