posted on 22 July 2012

Richard Agar praised his sides performance as they scored 29 unanswered points in the second half to romp to a derby day win over Huddersfield Giants.

Richard Agar praised his teams performance in earning a derby win over Huddersfield Giants.

A scrappy first half saw the Wildcats trail 8-6 at the interval and despite the first score of the second period going to the hosts, Wakefield dominated proceedings with Tim Smith in particular pulling the strings to lead Trinity to a 35-14 win.

Agar revealed that the gist of his half-time team talk was a simple one.

“The big message for us at half-time was a really simple one- hold onto the ball,” said the Trinity head coach.

“We felt we’d gone half alright against a really strong wind in the first half.

“Particularly in that first fifteen minutes we defended a lot of what they had to throw at us.  We felt we handled their kicking game okay considering the quality of it and a couple of times we came back from heavy defence and turned the screw a little bit.

“Having said that, we made some errors and the turnarounds were massive for us.  The errors that led to sixty metre turnarounds and we were worried that would take a little bit of energy out of us in the heat and the wind.

“The big message was hang onto the ball and let’s see if we can have a crack at them in good ball.

“I thought we defended really well in the second half.  They had one crack at our line where they lost it but I can’t remember our line being under threat too much.”

Agar was full of praise for the entire seventeen, pointing in particular to the returning former Giants in Danny Kirmond, Andy Raleigh and Kyle Wood for their displays.

Despite the game coming on the back of four straight defeats, Agar insisted that the spirit within the squad remained as strong as ever.

“We had some terrific individual shows.  I was really pleased with the half-backs in the second half.  I felt we got a little bit too flat on them in the first half and we just needed to get our foot in the door a little bit more before we played.

“I thought they rectified that in the second half and also kicked really well.

“All the guys that we go from Huddersfield had really strong showings, but in particular Andy Raleigh.  I thought Benny Cockayne put a magnificent stint in.  I thought team wise we played with a lot of spirit and we were playing a side who quite obviously are down on confidence at the moment.

“It’s the first time we’ve given the players some extended time off so to come back with that was pleasing.

“Our confidence has been alright.  I’ve been telling anyone who will listen for a long time that the spirit within the players is really good.  We know where we’re at and we know how hard we’ve got to work and what we’ve got to do.

“We’ve found a bit of a style that suits us and in those defeats we’ve played Wigan, Catalans and had two very narrow losses away from home where we scored equal amounts of tries against Leeds and Bradford but lost on goal kicks.

“I don’t think it’s that we’ve had four big defeats against us and two of those games could have gone our way.  We want to keep that spirit and bounce back to challenge teams and we may only have seven wins on the board but I think for the bulk of the season we can say that we have challenged teams.”

There was a first try in the red, white and blue for Lee Smith who made his move from Leeds Rhinos a permanent one on Friday, and Agar believes Wildcats fans will see more and more from their new man as he gets more matches.

“He’s short of a run and you can tell that.  I don’t think playing in the Nines will have done his match fitness or match sharpness that much good.

“It’ll do him good to score a try and get an eighty minute win under his belt.  He’s settled in and the fact that we’ve gone from a loan signing to a permanent one in such a short space of time shows he has settled in and enjoyed it.

“I think he will only get better for us.  He’s a quality player who needs to be playing first grade.”

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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