Wildcats skipper Danny Kirmond says the players are determined to right the wrongs of defeat at Hull KR on the big stage at Magic Weekend.
By the admission of Richard Agar and the players, Trinity were well below par at MS3 Craven Park and head to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday with one of the biggest matches of each and every season looking to get back on track.
Wakefield meet Castleford (2.15pm) at the home of Manchester City aiming to extend a run of three successive derby day victories over the Tigers and Kirmond says the players are committed to showing what they’re made of against the clubs local rivals.
“It’s a great platform to play on and a great stadium and you get a chance to showcase your skills to a few people who don’t normally watch rugby league so it’s a great opportunity for everyone,” said Kirmond, speaking at the Magic Weekend media day on Tuesday.
“Most of all, it’s a derby game which we always look forward to. They’re always big games for the club, a bit of local bragging rights on offer so it’s one we’re really looking forward to.
“We were really average to where we want to be (against Hull KR) and that performance was nothing like what we feel we can perform and that’s the most disappointing thing. It’s not like we put in those performances week-in, week-out. It’s a one off performance that’s really let everyone down and let ourselves down more than anything which is why we’re really keen to get back to winning ways.
“We’ve had a really honest session this morning (Tuesday). Everyone knows where we went wrong last weekend and everyone’s fully committed to putting it right.
“The second half was probably the worst we’ve played since Rich took over and since I’ve been at the club so it is hard to take. Seeing it on footage is the best way and the most honest way. That’s the best way to get it across to everyone. We’re really committed to each other and we understand that we didn’t do well enough for each other.”
Local bragging rights have belonged to the fans in red, white and blue ever since the 2012 Magic Weekend where a Tim Smith try sealed the win in an enthralling contest played out in a sweltering Etihad Stadium.
Since then the Wildcats have won fairly comfortably twice on Tigers turf, but Kirmond is expecting anything but a straightforward victory, particularly given that Castleford are now under the guidance of a new head coach in Darryl Powell.
“Castleford are a really dangerous team. They’ve got a new coach so everybody will be looking to pick their game up so it’s going to be a bit of a different proposition this time when we play them.
“We know they’ve got a lot of dangerous players in Daryl Clark and Rangi Chase, plus lots of attacking players. We know we’re going to have to be at our best and that’s the most important thing for us, that we look after our performance.”
Last year’s Magic Weekend was of extra significance to Kirmond as he took over the captaincy from Steve Southern and helped guide the Wildcats to not only a victory on that day, but a second half of the season that saw Wakefield force into the play-off places.
Twelve months down the line and ‘Captain Kirmo’ is continuing to thrive in the role and was one of the Wildcats better performers against the Robins.
Reflecting on the first twelve months as the clubs on-field leader, Kirmond is pleased with how things have gone.
“I think it’s gone really well,” he said.
“We had the great run last year and it was great to do it (the captaincy) through an off-season, helping people out and doing things that maybe you don’t do through the season. You get to see lots of different places and come on promo’s like this, it’s a good experience and something the normal person might not see.
“It’s definitely something I’m enjoying, I’m developing into and I think the boys like me doing it too. I want the best for the team and that’s what I’ll try to do. I’ll do my best whenever I am captain and try my best for the team.”
You can listen to the full interview with Kirmond on the Wildcats SoundCloud account by clicking HERE.
Supporters who purchased their Magic Weekend tickets and took up the offer of a FREE Magic Weekend t-shirt are advised that they are now available for collection. Anyone who purchased their ticket during the period of the offer in the Stadium Box Office can collect their t-shirt from there, whilst anyone purchasing in either the Ridings Centre or Trinity Walk will be able to collect their t-shirt from our Ridings Centre store.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.