Richard Agar believes his sides inability to execute well both in attack and defence was a major contributor to their derby day defeat to Castleford Tigers.
A spirited second quarter of the game including a try right at the end of the first half from Paul Sykes had the Wildcats well in the game at the interval but the Tigers turned the screw in the second half, penning the hosts back in their own half for long periods with a virtually error free performance orchestrated by Rangi Chase.
Wakefield battled valiantly but eventually the Tigers turned their superiority into points and were thoroughly deserving of the derby day spoils as they claimed the first victory in a season when the sides will meet another on another two occasions in Super League.
“I’m obviously disappointed because we’ve lost a derby game to our nearest rivals,” said Agar after the game.
“I thought from an individual point of view we had some really good efforts but through the course of the game we found it hard to get out of our half.
“They played very patiently, completed at a very high percentage and kicked extremely well. It backed us up and we struggled to get out of our own end.
“At the moment we’re just not executing some things that we’re practising on the training field both offensively and defensively.
“They played patiently and took their chances when they came around.”
Agar was hit by the withdrawal of Danny Kirmond (calf strain) in training the day before the game and that coupled with Dean Collis’ absence plus Ali Lauitiiti (hamstring) forced off the field in the first half left the Wildcats struggling on the edges.
“We’ve still got a way to go but I saw some individuals that I was really pleased with their improved effort, particularly in the middle of the field.
“We’re just not quite getting it right, certainly not defensively in terms of execution at this moment in time.
“One thing that I think has hurt us is that we’ve not gone through a game without losing an edge player. We lost Ali early doors and without Kirmond and Collis already in the side I think it’s probably taken away too much strike from us.
“Kirmond, Collis and Lauitiiti are our three major go to men on the edges.
“We lost Mathers who is not in a good way. We’ve had a bit of a sickness bug in the camp this week and Richie put his hand up to play but come half-time he was feeling extremely dehydrated and he’s not in a good way in the changing rooms.
“Having to lose Ali and Richie didn’t particularly help with Collis and Kirmond already out of the team.
“But I’ll pay credit to Castleford. They played a really solid game, put some good plays on and executed them when they needed to.
“Rangi Chase kicked the ball very smartly which left us bringing it out of our own end and there were a number of repeat sets as well and they were just too good for us on the night.”
With a second game in four days coming up at the DW Stadium, Agar is set to ring the changes with a Challenge Cup fourth round tie at Leeds Rhinos also on the horizon.
“We’ve got some fresh guys that are looking for an opportunity and it’s probably timely for them as well.
“We were well beaten tonight and we had a poor performance last week so the timing of it for those guys gives them a great opportunity to force their way into the picture.”
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.