AGAR RELISHING PLAY-OFF CHALLENGE

posted on 8 September 2012

Richard Agar says the Wildcats can travel to Headingley in the play-offs full of confidence and with no pressure on their shoulders next Saturday.

Richard Agar says his side can go into the play-offs full of confidence and with no pressure on them.

Defeat for Bradford Bulls secured the place in the top eight for Wakefield before they’d even needed to take to the field against Salford City Reds, but they still turned in a professional performance which resulted in a seventh straight victory and in the process set a new club Super League record for successive wins.

It’s the first time the Wildcats have been in the play-offs since 2009 and Agar believes his side have nothing to lose in the end of season showpiece games as they prepare to come up against the most successful club in recent times.

“There’s no better side for getting to Grand Finals,” said Agar.

“They’re the masters of it and they know how to get the job done so going to their place will be huge challenge for us.  But there’s no pressure on us so we can go there and throw our very best football at them.  We’ll go with some confidence because seven wins undoubtedly gives us some confidence.

“Whilst we were disappointed with the last ten minutes tonight, I think if we concentrate on the 90% of it that were good and the other 10% that weren’t so good then we can go there in the right frame of mind and knowing that we’ve had a couple of really good games against them already this year.

“We’ve scored forty points at Headingley once already this year, albeit we didn’t win, but we’ve shown we can give them a game on our day.

“We got the news about the Bradford result before the game and it was something we addressed with the boys.  Our season sort of starts again from tonight.

“I thought our first half performance reflected that.  It (the Bradford result) had no impact on our boys whatsoever, they went out and did a good job on them.”

The Wildcats rattled up 42 points on their way to victory and whilst for the most part the display was a solid one, Agar wasn’t pleased with how his side closed the game out in the final ten minutes.

“I’m incredibly disappointed and it’s taken the shine off what was, for seventy minutes, a real solid and competent display.  I thought we didn’t have a lot of ball in the second half but we did execute our chances when they came our way expectionally well tonight.

“To concede like we did was soft from some individuals who really let the team down.  But we are where we are and if we can learn from that then it’ll be great moving forward.

“There’s no better side for getting to Grand Finals,” said Agar.

“They’re the masters of it and they know how to get the job done so going to their place will be huge challenge for us.  But there’s no pressure on us so we can go there and throw our very best football at them.  We’ll go with some confidence because seven wins undoubtedly gives us some confidence.”

The record breaking run of wins was celebrated in style by around 1,800 Wildcats fans at Leigh Sports Village, with Agar pointing to another game in an impressive venue as the catalyst for a strong second half of the campaign.

“We looked at the Magic game as being a little bit of a turning point for us getting a settled side and the win that probably kick started our season.  We’re right up there with Wigan in terms of points accrued since that point of the season.

“We’ve shown for half a year that our form has been up there with the very best teams in the competition, which is tremendous.  We’ve had some close wins and some close losses but I think that’s just an indication that we’ve been a really competitive team.”

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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