Wildcats head coach Richard Agar says there is no better time or place to bounce back than the Magic Weekend against Castleford on Saturday, kick-off 2.15pm.
Wakefield entertain the Tigers after the disappointing 44-18 defeat away at Hull KR last weekend and will be doing their upmost to put that right in Manchester at the Etihad Stadium.
The Wildcats will entertain a bumper crowd on Saturday in the second game of the weekend sandwiched between Catalan V London and the Hull derby.
Speaking at the Magic Weekend launch the Trinity boss said the attitude of the squad has been fantastic this week.
“They have reacted positively,” claimed Agar.
“In defeats like the one we experienced at the weekend there are questions that need answering. We had a fairly long and thorough review on Monday and we know we fell well below the standards that have made us a competitive side and that’s disappointing.
“What rugby league gives you is an opportunity on a short turnaround to put it right and there’s no better way for us to put it right than to get one over Castleford in what’s going to be a tremendous occasion on a big stage at the Magic Weekend.”
The consecutive defeats in Hull has hindered a run of good form though after Wakefield won their three games previous to that, including the impressive victory over the Dragons. Agar says they need get back to winning ways and confirmed he will make changes to the 17 that take to the field against Castleford.
“We feel our form over the last month has been ok and we were quite happy with it. We were up at half-time at the weekend and then we didn’t see that second half coming, we felt we could go on and win the game and win it well. To experience that is part of the deal, as much as nobody likes it you have to take it on the chin, dust yourself down and set about putting that right.
“There will be changes to the team this weekend, that’s a given. We were mightily disappointed with some efforts that we got at the weekend so we’ve got some scope and some opportunity to make some changes and we’re going to do that.
“The 80 minutes for us this week provides an opportunity to banish all that went on last week and keep ourselves very much in touch with the eight.”
Taulima Tautai looks set to make his first appearance in the red, white and blue on Saturday and although he hasn’t been playing first grade in the NRL Agar says he is up to speed.
“Taulima has been playing over there and he even played last weekend with his fitness and form good so all things being equal and he’s over his jetlag and he gets through training, then he’s going to be in contention to play and I’d say he will make his debut against Castleford at the weekend.”
The new prop forward will be aiming to continue the recent record against the Tigers which has seen three wins in the last 12 months but Agar says it will be a far greater challenge than the derby on Good Friday.
“We had a disappointing start in my first derby (in 2012) but our form against them has been pretty good since then. We had a good win against them at Easter but I think they’re a radically different proposition at the moment, they’ve had a change of coach and in Castleford’s case it’s resulted in an up spurt in form.
“They’re still at the point where they‘re wanting to impress Daryl Powell and he’s still stamping his own mark, philosophies, structures and disciplines on that group of players. Five or six weeks ago these players were under a lot of pressure and all of a sudden the pressure has been lifted with a change of coach and the slate is almost clean for them and with that they’ve found confidence.
“A derby game is always a terrific way to answer some questions and that goes for us as well.”
You can listen to Agar’s full pre-match interview on the Wildcats Sound Cloud account HERE.
Tickets for the 2013 Magic Weekend start from £30 adult and £15 concessions for the day and just £45 adult and £22.50 concession for the whole weekend. Tickets can no longer be purchased through the Wildcats but they can by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.
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