It has been a week of good news at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium after the decision on Newmarket was followed by that of club captain Danny Kirmond returning quicker than expected and is fit to face Bradford on Sunday.
Wakefield go into the game at the Grattan Stadium on the back of a dramatic 44-40 defeat against Leeds Rhinos and hope to get back to winning ways. The Bulls sit in ninth place, just two places ahead of the Wildcats and head coach Richard Agar is delighted to welcome back his skipper.
“Danny Kirmond is in the 19-man-squad this week while Lucas Walshaw has gone down ill so he misses out this weekend. We expect Kirmo to come straight back in while Frankie Mariano and Isaac John who have missed the last few weeks are also in my thinking at this stage,” said Agar.
Thursday was a big day in the history of the club with the planning permission approved to build a new stadium and the head coach explains the outcome should not be underestimated.
“It secures the future and it is a great day for the club. The club has taken some real positive steps to move forward over the last 12 months or so and there are attempts over the next two or three seasons to continue that on the field too. It was a big day and it is a platform for the future, which is an exciting one.
“From my point of view in terms of recruitment, having a new stadium is very important and we are almost a season through a three year license so the long term stability is vital. This is a very big step to put doubts that some people might have to bed.
“We have seen other clubs in Super league in recent years move to a new stadium and really helped, in a number of different areas, investors have been able to use it as a positive both on the field and off it too.”
On the pitch this weekend the Wildcats will come up against a team who were humbled by St Helens 54-0 last time out but the Bulls have since enjoyed a week off courtesy of the Exiles clash with England.
That means 98 points have been conceded by the two teams in their previous match but Agar is expecting a quieter affair on Sunday afternoon.
“It won’t be a high scoring game if the weather keeps up like this, we have had a deluge and that’s forecast to continue. I think building up to this week the weather will play a significant part in the game and we are playing a team that play really well in tough conditions.
“When we were doing our video this week on them we looked a little bit further back into the season to look at them in the wet. Both clubs will be looking to put in a better defensive display.
“When we went down 12-0 on Monday I don’t think Leeds had to massively work hard for the tries they got. The scores were very much against the run of play and certainly with the kick returns, they could have gone either way so you have to credit Ben Jones-Bishop and Zak Hardaker.
“We were disappointed with our second half and there was a 10-15 minute period where we made three errors in four sets which really took the energy out of us when we thought we were going well.
“Time will tell if playing on Monday has a positive effect, they have had a rest but it depends on how they have treated that time. For us it’s a six day turnaround and it’s something we have brought up with our players that we have not been good in these situations.
“Having said that, we are in a different place in terms of when the short turnarounds came about last time when we had four games in 14 days we didn’t handle great.
“The players are feeling comfortable with each other and physically we are in a good place but we lost a session and we’ve had shorter sessions, and we have tried to look after the players recovery by cutting a little bit of training down. It will be an interesting test to see how the short turnaround affects us.”
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