Prop Justin Poore says captaining the Wildcats is the highlight of his career so far.
The Australian led out Trinity in the absence of the rested skipper Danny Kirmond and injured vice-captain Richard Mathers, and crossed for a first half try in the 66-6 victory over Hemel Stags that safely secured a passage into the fifth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.
Poore represented New South Wales in all three matches of the 2009 State of Origin series but says taking up the role of captaincy is the most special moment of his career to date.
“It was probably the proudest moment of my career,” said Poore. It tops a lot of things and to captain a club means a lot. How much I fit in here probably makes it the highlight of my career. To lead the boys out at home was really good.
“I felt pretty fit and felt good contact wise. I felt on the ball again, last week freshened me up so I feel good and can’t wait to play again.”
Wakefield pulled away from their Championship 1 visitors in the final ten minutes of the game to give the score line a slightly harsh look for the efforts of the Stags player, with Poore explaining why it can be difficult to break down lower level opposition.
“We were good and we were bad. It’s hard to play against teams like that because the gaps aren’t where they are in a Super League game. The defensive line was erratic and we put our plays on that high level teams would get caught in and sometimes we were our own worst enemy.
“We got a fair talking to at half-time and the last 15-20 minutes I thought we started to pick up a bit. When we started playing through them we looked good. Rugby league’s a tough game and you can’t run around teams, you’ve got to go through them.
“They should hold their heads high. They competed for the whole 80 minutes and I said to a few of their boys that they should be really proud and have their heads high.”
Poore has almost 200 first grade games to his name in both the NRL and now Super League, but it was a first taste of that level for 17-year olds Ben Shulver and Danny Maskill, the young Academy duo pulling on a first team shirt for the very first time and impressing in their performances.
It was also a debut for Jon Molloy who Richard Agar picked out as probably the most impressive of the Trinity players on Saturday evening, a sentiment echoed by Poore.
“I thought Jonny was outstanding. For someone who hasn’t played for nine months to do what he did today, he should be very proud.
“The two young fellas were outstanding. To play at this level and dominate the game like they did – unreal.”
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.