Richard Agar admitted to mixed emotions after his sides second half fightback against Salford Red Devils wasn’t enough to take home the points.
The Wildcats trailed 18-0 at the break to the Devils but came out fighting in the second period as tries for debutants Matty Ryan and Pita Godinet reduced the arrears before the ever dangerous Ali Lauitiiti got over from close range to leave the result in the balance.
The former Kiwi international saw one ‘try’ not given with the officials coming to the conclusion he was held up and despite other good opportunities, the Wildcats couldn’t come up with the final score to take the two points.
However, with Ryan, Godinet and Anderson playing just a week after linking up with the squad and having to deal with adversity due to the early loss of Jimmy Keinhorst to injury, there were certainly positives for the Wildcats boss.
“Really mixed emotions,” were Agar’s words immediately after the game.
“Undoubtedly coming into the game there were a lot of unknowns for us. We’d had three or four sessions with the bulk of our players so we weren’t sure how we’d go. I thought the first fifteen minutes was a little bit reflective of that and a couple of tries came from system errors.
“I thought we played positively with the ball, we just made too many errors. We didn’t kick the ball great but we felt if we could continue our positivity with the ball, iron out some errors and improve our finishes a little bit, we’d have an opportunity in the game and we got that.
“We had more opportunities and we should have won the game. There’s no doubt we’ll see two or three golden opportunities. Ali’s adamant he got that ball down on that far side. The first thing I said to him was, ‘I’ve never seen anyone stop Ali one-on-one that close to the line’. He said: ‘Well, he didn’t’.
“That and a couple of chances where our wingers have put the ball down with the try line begging, I thought we should have won the game and we would have deserved it too.”
With the clubs disrupted off season with many in’s and outs at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium and the wait for the overseas trio to arrive, many are tipping the Wildcats as relegation candidates.
But Agar believes his side showed more than enough to suggest his team won’t be struggling at the foot of the table.
“I think we’ve given everybody a glimpse. We will get better and we’re going to need a little bit of luck and we’re going to need to find some consistency. But I thought Pita Godinet, having only had three (training) runs, played outstandingly well and will get better.
“I thought Matt Ryan looked a right goer and is versatile; and Scott Anderson will give us plenty of solidity in the middle.
“My overriding emotion is that I’m really happy and I know we’ll improve as a team, but I’m going home disappointed because I thought we dominated the second half so much that we should have won the game.”
You can listen to Agar’s press conference in full on the Wildcats Audioboo channel by clicking HERE.
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