Wildcats full-back Richard Mathers says honesty is the key to rediscovering their form ahead of hosting Wigan at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium tomorrow (3.30pm).
Wakefield have fallen to three consecutive defeats in recent weeks including the hugely disappointing defeat to local rivals Castleford Tigers.
The fixture list hasn’t been kind to the Wildcats as they are set to come up against table toppers Wigan who have remarkably won their last 11 games in all competitions which included the reverse fixture at the DW Stadium.
Despite coming up against such strong opposition Mathers feels it’s a great opportunity to put in a strong performance.
“It’s a good game for ourselves to bounce back, we’ve been on the road for a few weeks and it’s nice to be back playing at our own ground and they’ve done quite a bit of work on the field so it’s looking in great nick and we always enjoy playing here.
“It’s a great test for us to put a few wrongs right against the best team in the competition at this moment.”
Every member of the Wildcats first team squad are quick to emphasise the team spirit amongst the camp with honesty being a crucial aspect of that according to Mathers who says they need to put the embarrassing displays behind them.
“I think a bad performance and a bad result are two different things. If you play not so well and get beat you can handle that but two weeks on the bounce it’s not been acceptable so you can probably guess what type of week we’ve had and we had that last week as well.
“We pride ourselves on honestly within the group and training hard because we aren’t a group of super starts but what we do is we work well together and work hard for each other and when that’s not happening things can go wrong and go wrong big like they have for the last two weeks.
“We’ve had a few frank and honest discussions but then at the same time it’s not all doom and gloom, we’ve had some hard training sessions with a lot of quality and intensity in there because we are not at the level that we need to be at the minute.
“There’s no good sulking and moaning about it, we need to roll our sleeves up and work your way out of these ruts. Every team has their ups and downs in a season and our biggest down came on Super League’s showpiece event in the middle of the year in front of all those people last week. But, it wasn’t a final lost it was just two points in the grand scheme of things although whether it was here in front of 500 people our performance regardless of who we were playing wasn’t acceptable.”
Trinity have lost their last nine games against Wigan in a run which stretches back to 2009 but the vice-captain says beating Shaun Wane’s men is not impossible.
“It can be done, you have to be very physical with Wigan and stop their momentum because they’ve got a formidable pack and they are very much the same shape yet quick and mobile as well and they get them on the roll, that’s where it starts.
“It’s not a coincidence that Sam Tomkins is the best player in Super League, it’s on the back of a strong, dominant pack and they get the quick play of the balls and their execution on the edges is why they are the best in the league.”
You can listen to the entire Mathers pre-match press conference HERE where he also discusses Wigan’s structure, what the Wildcats have to do to reach the play-offs and much more.
You can save money by pre-purchasing your tickets as adult prices do go up £2 on matchday. Adult tickets bought before game day are £20 while juniors and concessions are £12 regardless of when you buy them.
Make sure you arrive early though and take in the Wildcats Fanzone which has all the usual attractions and a special appearance from Love Cake Love Me who will be selling their delicious cupcakes throughout the afternoon. You can also buy your merchandise while a bouncy castle is set to make an appearance along with balloon modelling.
Visit the Ridings Centre store today or call 01924 201548 to secure your place to see Wakefield take on the league leaders.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.