Wildcats head coach Richard Agar says he was embarrassed with what his side turned out in a resounding defeat to local rivals Castleford Tigers.
Trinity were second best across the park on a day which turned out far from Magic at the Etihad Stadium. Kirk Dixon was the four-try hero of the Tigers but it was the creative flair of Rangi Chase that stole the show, as the Tigers showed no mercy to a Wildcats side far from their best.
Speaking after the game to the media, Agar pulled no punches in his assessment of the Wildcats showing.
“From start to finish, we were embarrassed by what we turned out,” he said.
“I can’t dress it up anyway. I’d love to come in here and offer some reason but it was a performance that I felt embarrassed us.
“One thing that should be a given is that you’ve got to compete. We just simply didn’t compete defensively. They beat us to the punch on everything and beat us on every facet of the game.
“One thing that was always a given last year for us – and for most of this year to be fair – is that we work hard for each other – we didn’t work hard enough today. In a derby game and on a big stage like this it rubs a bit more salt into the wound as well.”
After a way below par second half showing against Hull KR last time out, the Wildcats had targeted a response but never got going in the game, with the debut of Taulima Tautai a crumb of comfort for Agar.
The Wakefield boss says that it’s only the group who can work themselves out of the hole they find themselves in.
“We talked to the players in there and we’re in a little bit of a spot, but there’s only ourselves that will get us out of it by working hard and translating that work onto a gameday. When your best player is someone who has had two training sessions with you, then some of the other boys should be a little bit embarrassed by Taulima’s effort today. After such a short and brief introduction to us.
“He looked a real handful. He carried the ball with lots of punch, set a try up, rattled a few up defensively and he looks like he’s going to be a really good signing for us. Reece Lyne looked quite dangerous on the left hand side as well.
“I think we’ve got some players at the moment, who maybe got a little bit ahead of themselves with having a good finish to last year but I think we’ve had a couple of big reality checks.
“I can cop losing, I can cop getting beat in a derby and I can cop getting beat well in a derby. But it’s not sitting very well with me at the moment, particularly not with what I saw in the first half.
“I’m going to look to a few more of our senior players and their level of performance over the last two weeks, and ask some serious questions about how they’re going at this moment in time. This week, backing up after a poor forty last week, I think we need to do a little bit of soul searching as to what’s required.”
There was more bad news on the injury front with Agar revealing injuries to Danny Kirmond (fractured cheekbone), Tim Smith (shoulder), Ali Lauitiiti (foot) and Paul Aiton (jaw).
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