posted on 22 January 2012

On-loan full-back, Richard Mathers, believes the victory over Castleford Tigers was a welcome confidence boost for the Wildcats squad.

Richard Mathers gets over the line for one of eight Wakefield tries.

Mathers was one of seven different try scorers in the 40-20 win, touching down against the club who he is on loan from throughout 2012.

After defeats to Leeds Rhinos and Catalans Dragons in previous warm-up games, Mathers thinks the victory and the performance will act as a real shot in the arm for the belief in the squad.

“We’ve worked pretty hard for a number of weeks now and we didn’t do ourselves justice in France last weekend,” conceded Mathers.

“We had a few areas that we really wanted to concentrate on and get fixed up, and I think we went a long way to doing that.

“It was a pre-season friendly but probably the last one with a full side out so it was good to get a win for confidence because we’ve been working hard and played two good opposition in Leeds and Catalans and come up short, so it was good to get a win against another quality opposition.”

The Wildcats dominated the majority of the encounter, controlling the ball well in difficult conditions and punishing the Tigers for regular indiscipline.

Mathers said the swirling wind and rain had a bearing on the Wildcats territorial dominance in the first period, but paid tribute to the work of Isaac John and Tim Smith in controlling the game.

“The conditions played a big part in that,” said Mathers of the Wildcats territorial superiority in the first half.

“I thought our halves had really good game management.  The wind was terrible and we had it in our favour in the first half and we pinned Castleford back.  A lot of the points then came on the back of really good, solid defence.

“We knew from last week that we’ve got plenty of good attacking traits and we just needed to tighten up in the middle and we certainly did that.

“We’re pleased that we rectified some things from last week’s game.  We’ve been through the mill a bit this week in defence and rightly so after last week and today we saw the benefit of it.”

The former Leeds Rhinos man was also pleased to make it two wins from two on home soil in 2012, with home form often the basis of any successful campaign.

“We were playing our main game at home and this is our ground and we’re proud of our patch and defensive of it.

“It’s a bit of a cliché but we want to make it a bit of a fortress.  We wanted to put a good defensive effort and hopefully that pleases the fans.

“I’m sure it will on the back of the effort we put in.  It’s not all going to be plain sailing.  We’re a new team and still getting used to new combinations.

“But in terms of effort and endeavour, that’s what we want to hang our hat on and if we can do that I think we’ll go a long way to being consistent this year.”

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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