posted on 13 January 2013

Richard Agar was pleased with his side’s first half sharpness as they continued preparations for the start of the Super League campaign.

Richard Agar was pleased with his side's first half performance in particular against Featherstone.

Local rivals Featherstone Rovers were on the end of an encouraging attacking performance in the first half from the Wildcats that bodes well for the new season, as Ben Cockayne, Peter Fox, Reece Lyne, Ali Lauitiiti and Justin Poore all got over the whitewash in the opening forty minutes.

Rovers upped their game in the second half and with some players stuck on the sidelines with knocks, the Wildcats struggled to match their first half showing with Lyne managing to get over in the corner in response to two Featherstone tries.

After an intense week’s training in Portugal, Agar was pleased with a successful end to a big week of pre-season training.

“I thought we looked sharp and well organised,” he said after the game.

“We came up with some good plays and some good attacking plays.  I felt we probably should have put another couple away and we could have been getting up to 40-0 at half-time.

“Sometimes when games get like that I can understand why it slowed up in the second half but credit to Featherstone, I thought they really got a good piece of us in the second half.  They’re defence in the middle of the field probably dominated us for periods.

“We thought it served a purpose and we’ll be able to take plenty out of it.  We’re on the backside of a big week.  We’ve had our biggest week in terms of loadings and stresses we’ve put on the players as well as some travel thrown into that.

“We’d probably have liked to rotate the team a little bit more but we ended up copping quite a few knocks and having some bloke that couldn’t return.  So there’s no surprise there was a little bit of fatigue in there and we struggled to get forward in the second half.  That’s something that moving forward we’ll work on but the biggest aspect of our play was when we got caught behind our own ten metre line we needed to be a little bit smarter and find a bit of variety for how we got out of there.

“Defensively we looked well organised.  We conceded a couple of scrappy, pushover tries but on the whole we looked like we knew what we were doing and were very solid.  We scored some really good tries coming from different aspects.”

Poore was one such player to watch from the dugout in the second half after suffering a cut above his eye in the first half, whilst Vince Mellars (groin), Fox (blow to the head), Lyne (tight hamstring) and Paul Sykes (dead leg) were all taken off as precautions with no lasting damage expected.

But Agar say he is keen to get more miles in the legs of his props in advance of the season with Andy Raleigh set to feature against St. Helens next week, although Kyle Amor’s recovery from a shoulder reconstruction is taking longer than hoped and he has an outside chance of turning out against Doncaster.

Agar did have praise for loan signing Brad Singleton for his debut performance.

“Our middle’s not a concern for me at the moment but I’d like to get a bit more game time into them before the season start.  Singleton showed why there’s such an enormous rating on him.  He’s one of these kids who knows how to play the games and has got a really smart football brain.  He’s got some little subtlety’s to him as a front rower.  I was really pleased that for his first game and with how little preparation time he’s had with us, that he performed so well for such a long stint as well.

“We’ve got our major trial against Saints who we’re expecting to be one of the top sides in the comp this year so we’ll have a week where we prepare like we would a normal week.  We’ve had a very high loading on the players in the week and we were worried fatigue would have been a concern for us but we handled it okay.”

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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