Trinity vice-captain Richard Mathers conceded that the quality of St. Helens was ultimately too much for a spirited Wildcats outfit.
Wakefield opened the scoring through the full-back and were well in the game at 28-18 in the second half. Decimated by injuries to some of the sides most senior and influential players, few gave the Wildcats any hope of getting close to Saints.
Whilst the scoreboard ultimately showed a heavy defeat, it was a score line that didn’t reflect the efforts of the Wakefield squad who simply ran out of steam in the final quarter, allowing Saints to runaway with the game and claim an emphatic looking result.
Speaking exclusively to Wildcats TV, after the game, Mathers commented: “First of all we’re disappointed in the score line, it’s still a 50-point defeat but I think the manner in which we played and the spirit within the group (was good). Last week wasn’t acceptable from the playing group.
“Outwardly on the scoreboard it doesn’t look like it, but the young boys and the experienced boys all played together today. We’ve got a big chunk of our team today and we wanted to come here and acquit ourselves well.
“Saints have got a superstar team and we were in it until the last fifteen minutes and I think if we all stick together like that and put that effort and desire in like we did in that performance then we won’t go too far wrong.”
Nobody gave the Wildcats any hope of getting near a star-studded Saints side given the likes of Tim Smith, Danny Kirmond, Andy Raleigh, Ali Lauitiiti and Justin Poore out of the side, with Mathers believing the players who stepped in rose to the challenge and put forward their claims for afirst team spot.
“I think it was probably a bit disrespectful to the young players we’ve got,” said Mathers of the Wildcats being written off before a tackle had been made.
“We’ve got every confidence right across the squad. There’s no hiding the quality that was missing, it speaks for itself. But it gives some young boys and some experienced lads that haven’t been playing an opportunity to stand up and I thought they really did and added loads to our side.
“I was really proud to captain the side today and it was one of those occasions where everyone was trying their hardest and that never stopped. Ultimately a little bit of quality and x factor in Jonny Lomax who was outstanding. But as an effort, I can’t really knock it.”
You can watch Mathers’ full post-match reaction on Wildcats TV later tonight.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.