posted on 4 March 2012

Richard Agar praised his sides defensive efforts and their character having seen them narrowly suffer defeat to Hull FC.

Richard Agar thought his side put in a courageous defensive effort against his former club.

In atrocious conditions at the KC Stadium the Wildcats were called upon to spend much of the game defending their own line as the hosts dominated territory and possession.

But despite their dominance in that part of the game, the Wildcats were rarely stretched as a defensive unit but ultimately sheer weight of ball swung the game in Hull’s favour who were able to survive a late scare as Ben Cockayne and Kyle Wood went over for tries to spark a late fightback.

“I thought we were tremendously courageous,” Agar commented after the game.

“We had to withstand a lot defensively and I thought our defence really stood up.

“They threw a lot at us, had a lot of field position, territory and possession.  On a day like today that’s what you want.

“I felt we finished the stronger side and the boys in there are talking up that if it had gone on for another two or three minutes they felt they could have won the game.

“For me it showed great signs about our character and great signs about the way we defended.

“There were just a couple of moments in the game where we got some good kick-chases in and let them out of the corners with a penalty or not a great chase.

“They were big moments in the game because you’re looking to win the energy battles in things like that.

“I’d say Hull were on top of us in that and they played with more energy but to come through that the other end and finish the game as strongly as we did, we can take a lot out of our performance both from a defensive point of view and also a character standpoint.”

Agar conceded that his sides kicking game and penalties at key moments hindered their opportunity to play in good ball and as such never really allowed them the chance to put any sustained pressure on the black and whites until the final fifteen minutes.

“It was a fairly even contest but Hull probably dominated the position more than we did so we didn’t get a lot of chances to attack their line very often,” admitted Agar.

“That was on the back of a little bit better kicking game.  In the first half I thought we played the game too much in the middle which is what we really didn’t need to do today.

“We played far too much in there and didn’t help ourselves getting forward.

“We felt we had them right on the ropes at the end there and they were hanging in there for a victory.

The introduction of Wood helped lift the Wildcats as an attacking threat and Agar praised the contribution of his hooker.

“We lost Kirmond quite early so it messed us about with our interchange.  The fact that we were doing so much defending meant we had to be very careful with our middle players.

“Hull have got a really big pack that can sap your energy defensively so we had to make a couple of changes there that perhaps we didn’t want to use.

“So we had to keep Woody back a little bit.

“But as he’s done in every game he’s played for us up to now, he’s made an impression with the ball and he lifted the tempo for us and certainly helped our kicking game out.

“He’s a very talented little player and he’s doing a great job for us at the moment.”

Wood will be looking for another good performance as the Wildcats welcome his former club Huddersfield Giants next weekend to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium (kick-off: 3.30pm).

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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