Richard Agar was pleased with the contribution of his outside backs in the Heatshot Festive Challenge at Headingley Carnegie.
Reece Lyne caught the eye on debut at centre with a strong display whilst Danny Cowling came off the bench to give a good account of himself and hep create a try for Richard Mathers.
Agar was pleased with their efforts and those of his forwards, whose ranks were depleted with Justin Poore’s sending off that forced some players into playing out of position.
“I thought our centres played great today,” commented Agar.
“Dean Collis showed some touches but the two young guys in particular. Reece Lyne looks very strong, very athletic and he certainly caught the eye. I’m really happy with the 25 minutes Danny Cowling had as well. He had to fill in a little bit of back row.
“I thought he really held his own defensively and came up with a great piece of inventive thinking for a try. They put their best foot forward.
“I thought some of our senior players looked a little bit rusty, weren’t as good as they could be but they’ll get better. We know that twelve months down the line from where we were, physically we looked a lot better.”
The main talking point of the day came a quarter of the way into the game as debutant Justin Poore made himself known to Ryan Bailey and earned himself a red card in the process.
Wakefield’s head coach thought the decision to send the Aussie from the field of play was a harsh one.
“It’s a shame it happened. I can’t be too dissatisfied that your players are getting fired up and having a go, and I think that goes for both teams. It’s good experience for a young referee who hasn’t refereed much Super League to give them experience in a game like this.
“I think if we’d have had our time again then sticking both players in the bin for ten minutes would have been adequate. As coaches I think we’re sensible enough to realise that we need to give the player five minutes to cool down and compose themselves.
“It had an effect on the contest, particularly when we were down to eleven men. Putting the other people in the bin as well, I’m not sure why he did it. It happened and it took a little bit of something out of the game and I don’t think it was warranted.
“It was handbags. I didn’t think the incident warranted a sending off and if it did then he’ll go in front of the disciplinary and hopefully the fact he got sent off early in the game will play a part.
“I think you could see he was up for it and great, that’s what we want. We want someone who can be a bit of an enforcer for us and he looks like he can give us that. He started the game with a lot of passion and vigour, He’ll have to get used that one or two things are a little bit different in this country.
“The incident itself, the other guy ran into him. I’m not saying he went looking for it but it’s two front rowers coming into each other in the early stages of the game. I think Poorey will be a good signing for us. He carried the ball strongly, came out of the line and put some good shots on people and dominated some tackles which is the type of leadership that the exact reason we signed him.”
Trinity didn’t come out of the fame unscathed, Lucas Walshaw breaking ribs in a physical first run-out in preparation for the 2013 campaign.
Vince Mellars missed out with a hamstring strain with Lee Smith’s tight back meaning he wasn’t risked for the game. Their short term injuries were overshadowed by an injury for Kyle Wood.
“Kyle Wood got a stray finger in his eye at training and he’s got a detached retina which he’s had surgery on. It’s a very unusual injury and we’ve had two of them in the last few months.
“It’s a blow because Woody has been going great in pre-season and made a lot of impact for us last year. The percentages and guarantees on these operations aren’t always great of working first time. Fingers crossed it does work first time and we’re looking at two to three months minimum.”
Agar also gave his forthright views on the experimental rule changes which you can read about in the Yorkshire Evening Post this week.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.