Head coach Richard Agar labelled his team’s performance as ‘ordinary’ but was pleased to have secured safe passage into the next round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.
The Wildcats scored eleven tries to see off the spirited effort of Hemel Stags who frustrated the Wildcats for large parts of the game with their defence leaving the Trinity attack looking a little blunt at times.
But objective number one was to get another step closer to Wembley and the Wildcats achieved that, even if it wasn’t in the style their head coach would have liked.
“I was disappointed with our overall performance,” Agar said after the match. “ I thought we were really ordinary with the ball and we played pretty boring at times. It was the only last fifteen minutes when we started playing a little straighter and more direct that we got some rewards for it.
“We could have played a lot more positive. The first four or five sets it was like we were trying to grind sets out and kick in the corners which is certainly not like us, we’re certainly a team that preaches promoting the ball and using it to great effect and with energy.
“I understand there are reasons for it because defences aren’t what we encounter week-in, week-out and we needed make a couple of adjustments on the run. Defensively we were okay.
“We’re in the next round. Sometimes you’re on a bit of a hiding to nothing in these games. At times we had a little bit of a lack of intensity out there. I’m not excusing it but I can understand at times why.
“Having said all that, I’ve just said in there to them, ‘Don’t go kicking stones.’ Of course we’re a little disappointed with our performance but we got the job done and we’re into the next round, that’s all that matters really.”
Hemel Stags have only had three competitive games in 2013, winning them all, and belied their Championship 1 status to put in a defensive effort that earned a rousing ovation at the full-time whistle from everyone in the stadium.
Agar was quick to praise the performance of Troy Perkins’ side.
“I’d like to really compliment the opposition. I thought they had a right crack. Their centres defended outstanding at times and their half-back tried to create and put some good plays on. They had a real dig, were a real credit to their coach and covered themselves in a lot of glory.
“Never mind the scoreboard, I thought their effort was outstanding. They had a right good go. They made tackles and they made them as well, they didn’t miss many. We had a lot of possession during the game and we needed to be a bit more direct and we lacked a bit of thought in attack.”
There were debuts for Jon Molloy after signing this week and for under 19’s duo Ben Shulver and Danny Maskill with Shulver marking his with a try. Agar revealed that the pair were presented with their match shirts before the game by Andy Kelly and Colin Maskill, father of Danny and a man who also made his debut for the Wildcats as a 17-year old.
Agar was particularly pleased with the first outing of his new man Molloy.
“I thought Jon Molloy was one of our better players if not arguably our best player on the night. He looked really strong. It’s going to take him a while to get up to speed because he’s been out eight months so we’re not expecting miracles from him straightaway but he looked strong, direct and he really knows how to attack on that edge. It won’t be long before he’s knocking on the door for us.”
Agar had no injury concerns from the game and is likely to only be missing Richard Mathers (testicle and ankle) from his squad to travel to Widnes Vikings next Friday.
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