Wildcats boss Richard Agar conceded his side were far from at their best in victory over Widnes but praised his players desire to work for each other.
In a scrappy game that won’t make many highlight reels in years to come, the Wildcats did what they had to to move to within a point of the top eight.
Dean Collis opened the scoring early on before leaving with a hamstring injury, whilst Paul Sykes (lower leg) was also forced off in the first half. Despite those setbacks, Trinity grinded out a deserved win against a Jekkyl and Hyde Vikings.
“We had to work hard and I thought we showed the aptitude and desire to work hard,” said Agar after the match.
“What I didn’t think we did was play great. We were pretty bad with the ball and we gave some really soft penalties away.
“We gave away dumb penalties and made some dumb decisions as well as some poor last play options. If we could have remedied that a little bit we may have found a bit more energy to attack. But losing Dean Collis and Paul Sykes early in the piece, you try to cover for most things but we had to shift our line up a bit.
“We handled that as best as we possibly could in the situation and there’s no doubt it had an effect on us attack wise. We know we’ll have to be better than that. We’ve played well this year and lost, tonight we’ve played not so well and dug a win out. We were workmanlike and tried really hard defensively.”
Whilst the collective work ethic certainly wasn’t lacking, the Wildcats were short on their usual fluency in attack, with senior players such as skipper Danny Kirmond, Richard Mathers, Ben Cockayne and Ali Lauitiiti taking the game by the scruff of the neck and leading the way for the rest of their teammates.
The Samoan earned special praise from Agar.
“He had to push a lot of minutes out and in the first half when we were getting a bit soft, I thought Ali was the one that put the punch back in us game. He was probably blunted by the amount of game time he had to do and Widnes targeted him for a bit of tackling.
“But the amount of game time he pushed out and the quality of the stints, he’s still such a handful. He played like a senior player and really took some responsibility on tonight.”
The victory makes it four wins on the spin for Agar’s men and with momentum behind them in the pursuit of a top eight spot. A week’s break for the Tetley’s Challenge Cup comes ahead of a double header with Leeds Rhinos, with Agar admitting the Wildcats can take confidence from a similar late run in 2012.
“We can get excited about it now, can’t we? We’ve worked really hard and we’re confident that when we get our ‘A’ game on we can challenge bigger and better teams. We are working extremely hard for each other.
“It wasn’t fluent tonight and our attack wasn’t fluent last week but we’ll get that better. We’re in the mix and we can put pressure on the teams above us. The last seven rounds we know we’ve got an awful lot to play for.
“We were a little bit fed up of everyone talking about last year before but I think we can draw on those experiences and the excitement it brought to the players, the team and the club. We’ve got a little mini-series going on with Leeds and we feel we’ve got to chalk off our home games.
“It’s a difficult place to come is this, so chalking off our home games is important for us.”