Wildcats head coach Richard Agar was proud of his sides efforts in a valiant display that saw them go down to a 52-18 defeat to St. Helens at Langtree Park.
Despite the final scoreline which was in no small part down to an inspired performance from full-back Jonny Lomax who scored a hat-trick, the Trinity boss witnessed his side go toe-to-toe with Saints for over an hour before their endeavours led to a tired final quarter in which the hosts cut loose.
Rather than look at the scoreboard on face value, Agar focussed on the positives from his teams performance that showed a number of the characteristics that had been lacking in last week’s draw with Salford City Reds.
“As a coach who has had his charges let in fifty points, I thought our effort, commitment and spirit were tremendous,” Agar told the assembled media.
“At the end of the day, the scoreline probably blew out in the last fifteen to twenty minutes and a lot of class from the other team told on the scoreboard in the end.
“To come here with such a depleted team and so much quality and experience out of the side, I thought our guys gave it their all. As a coach that’s all we can ask for. I thought for an hour, maybe more, we were very competitive and I thought we gave everything.
“Sometimes you can glance at scoreboards and think ‘What’s gone on here?’ or that Wakefield have been touched up but do you know what, I think we’ve come here tonight with everyone expecting us to get touched up. They’ll have looked at our team and focussed on the players that weren’t playing. I’d like to focus on the players that played tonight and gave their all and despite the scoreboard, I’m very proud of their effort.”
Agar believed that not only were his side competitive, but when presented with the opportunity showed some touches of quality, despite missing playmaker Tim Smith and having to juggle things in the half-back positions when Kyle Wood went off at half-time.
He also praised young forward Chris Annakin, who shone once more in a fifty minute stint full of powerful drives and determined defensive efforts that epitomised the nature of the Trinity performance.
“I thought in the first half there were some real bits of quality in there,” commented Agar.
“It wasn’t just effort and commitment, I thought we played some really good stuff at times. I think it would have been more than enough to get us home last week but last week’s gone. We know where we’re at and we know that if we have that many players out of our side of that experience and quality then it’s going to have an effect on us.
“It had an effect on some of the stuff we did, particularly towards the end of the game but I thought for an hour we showed a hell of a lot of resolve and played some good stuff for long periods.
“He (Annakin) is just growing in confidence playing first grade. If anybody has turned themselves around then he’s a great example. He had a terrific pre-season and playing first grade holds no fear for him at the moment. He’s not the biggest kid you’ve ever seen but he’s extremely strong, got a good engine and I thought he put in a great stint tonight.”
Agar’s full post-match press conference will be available on Wildcats TV later tonight.
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