posted on 3 February 2013

Full-back Richard Mathers says the Wildcats must learn the harsh lessons from their opening round defeat to Bradford and move on quickly.

Richard Mathers says the Wildcats must learn the lessons from defeat to Bradford Bulls and learn quickly.

Wakefield were never really in the contest, with Jarrod Sammut profiting from a dominant Bradford pack to lead the hosts to a comprehensive 40-6 victory at the Provident Stadium.

Head coach Richard Agar laid the blame for the defeat at the door of his sides inability to control the middle of the field, with Mathers admitting the squad have much higher expectations of themselves.

“It was really disappointing and certainly wasn’t expected,” said the Trinity vice-captain.

“We’ve had a good pre-season and if I’m being perfectly honest  – which we are as a group – then we just got outmuscled and out enthused.  There’s certain things that we can accept as a team and as a club, and that’s not one of them.

“Personally and from the playing group we don’t think we were troubled too much apart from outmuscled and out enthused.  To say I’m disappointed and shocked is an understatement.  If we take a step back because of the emotions straight after a game, but it certainly gives us something to work on for the rest of the season and we’ve got to do it quick.

“We’ve got a big game at home against Hull KR and they’ll be fired up for it so we need to learn and learn quick.”

There were very few occasions in 2012 that the Wildcats found themselves comprehensively second best in a game, and Mathers says the squad expect much more from themselves and must return to the standards they set for each other.

“Last season was last season and today just wasn’t acceptable.  We demand more from ourselves, not just from the coaches and Rich, but ourselves as a group.  It’s very raw at the moment but the good thing is that there’s still 26 more rounds and you go week-to-week, there’s no break.

“You can’t be sat at home crying and worrying about it.  You’ve got to fix it and fix it quick so that it gives us something to work from.  We’re going to have to take what positives there were from it and learn some pretty harsh lessons.

“Some of the stuff we did to ourselves and some of it was down to Bradford.  I thought they were very physical and dominated large parts of the game but that can’t be an excuse.  We’ve got to be good enough to weather those things.

“We’re not making excuses.  We’re extremely disappointed and we need to sort it out quickly.”

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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