Wildcats head coach Richard Agar was pleased with how his side stepped up their game physically to see off the challenge of Hull KR.
Agar put the blame for last weekend’s defeat at Bradford firmly at the door of his forwards, but was quick to praise his side for getting the better of the Robins in the physical battle to take the spoils on a successful night in front of more than 9,000 spectators at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
Trinity took advantage of Graeme Horne’s sin bin to race into an 18-0 lead in the first half but were pegged back by back-to-back Rovers scores. Although Rovers got to within a score in the second period, the Wildcats finished strongly and came out deserving winners.
After a tough week following last weekend’s disappointment, Agar called for a response, and he was pleased with what he saw.
“We thought we prepared alright last week and our attitude was good in training but it let us down on gameday,” said Agar after the game.
“We had a really good couple of attitude sessions in the week where we ripped into each other and it was apparent from the word go that we got a really good control of the ruck area. For the first 30 minutes we really dominated that aspect of the game and got the field position and we felt it would tell later in the game.
“But sometimes with us, when we get it wrong, we get it horribly wrong and we conceded a couple of soft tries. The sin bin didn’t help us but I’m pleased that when we got into a tight game it didn’t affect us and we were good enough to come through and put it away.
“A lot of people talked about last year with us and last year has gone – but so has last week. We’ve just got to look forward. We know that there’s always going to be things that we’ve got to fix up and iron out along the way because we pride ourselves on being a hard working team.
“We weren’t prepared to get in the physical contest (last week) but we were tonight against a big physical pack. I thought for large periods of the game we did dominate that area and it gave us a platform.
“It’ll do us good to get that win in front of our own fans. I think there would have been plenty of people ready to come out of the woodwork and have a crack at us this week and rightly so, because we asked for it. But hopefully tonight we showed we can be a really competitive team if we get certain elements of our game in order.”
Two former Rovers players were at the forefront of the victory with Ben Cockayne scoring a hat-trick and prop Andy Raleigh making his return to the team to give a typically solid and dependable display in the middle of the field to get the better of the Rovers pack.
“Hull KR fans are really appreciative of Ben Cockayne and I think it’s great that opposition fans can respect someone who’s given their all for other clubs, because it doesn’t always work that way and that’s a great tribute to the Hull KR fans. I think they’ll be cursing him tonight, though.
“Andy’s a guy that’s probably really underestimated. He’s quiet, he goes about his business and he just gets his job done. But I think your teammates who you play with appreciate it and you know what you’re going to get from him every week. He’s had a difficult pre-season with a couple of niggles but I thought his performance tonight showed that he’s mentally and physically an experienced player, and he’ll get better.”
Agar confirmed that there are no major concerns over both Kyle Amor after a sickening head clash in the second half, whilst Justin Poore left the field with a tight hamstring as a precaution.
You can see Agar’s full press conference on Wildcats TV tomorrow.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.