posted on 19 August 2012

Head coach Richard Agar praised his side for their second half performance after sealing yet another thrilling win to keep them in the play-off hunt.

Richard Agar was pleased with how his side improved their performance in the second half.

For the second week in succession, Paul Sykes landed a drop goal with less than a minute on the clock to earn the two points against play-off rivals Hull KR.

It was another see-saw encounter that saw the Wildcats some way off their recent standards in the first half, but a stronger second half showing got them back into the game and ultimately saw them across the line to the delight of the travelling support.

“I thought our performance in the first half meant we were very, very lucky to be in the game at half-time,” said Agar after the match.

“Maybe the week with a lot of press and people talking about the top eight might have got to us a little bit because I thought our performance in the first half was way off where we needed to be.

“Having said that, I thought we came back in the second half and were a very dominant side for the best part of the game.  I thought nothing went for us and I thought things were going to conspire against us.

“But we really got the wind in our sails in the second half, got in on the back of some good momentum and kicked exceptionally well which is certainly not what we did in the first half.

“I thought our kicking game in the first half was woeful.  We started the first fifteen minutes okay but a couple of poor efforts on our kicks invited Hull KR into the game.  They’ve got too much power to be defending against for long periods. They punched holes in us regularly and we had to do a lot of defending so were probably lucky that we came in at six points behind.

“One of the things I’ve learned is that you will always get a chance.  At that stage (of the game), the one thing we didn’t want was Hull KR to get a chance.  We got a penalty when we needed it most but there were no qualms about that.

“When we got an opportunity down there I thought we looked threatening every time in the second half.  When we shifted it to the sideline with a couple of plays to go I felt we might have made it a little bit hard for ourselves but we’re blessed with some really smart half-backs.”

The impact of Agar’s quarter on the bench, in particularly that of Kyle Wood, Paul Johnson and Frankie Mariano earned particular credit from the Wildcats head coach.

“Kyle Wood’s variation around the ruck really helped us in the second half.  He got us going forward and it was a case of us having to toughen up and take some tough carries.  We couldn’t pass our way around this team, they were tackling well and the rucks were slow.

“Paul Johnson allied with Kyle Wood and our half-backs were the real catalyst for us to get back into the game in the second half. “

Whilst Wakefield leapfrog the Robins in the table, Bradford’s win at Huddersfield means they occupy the final play-off spot with two weekly rounds remaining.

With Widnes and Salford still to play, the Wildcats relying on a slip-up from the Bulls for any chance to gatecrash the play-off party.

“It’s still not in our hands but all we can do is try and win our last two games.  We saw last night that Widnes have certainly not given up the ghost.  Bradford play Hull next so are Hull going to respond or turn in what they did against Widnes last night – who knows?

“All we can do is control what we can control and if we win our last two games and don’t make the play-offs then it will be an outstanding effort trying.

“I think if you look after our games over the last few weeks, we’ve got nothing major but we are going to have to look after one or two people next week.  The week off means we can enjoy the win and look forward to the rest of the year, hopefully shock a few and try and make the eight if we can.

“We have got some players in form but we only saw that form for forty minutes.  I don’t think our first half showing will get us very far in the rest of this year.  The circumstances of the game were a contributory factor and we can really learn from how we started the game for our next two games.”

Agar revealed that skipper Danny Kirmond left the field with a back spasm that prevented him from returning to the field but he will be fine for the final two regular season matches.

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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