Richard Agar conceded it was a tough day at the office for the Wildcats but is confident his side will improve in time.
The Wildcats were on the end of a Wigan side out to prove a point after their World Club Challenge disappointment and at times were simply too big and too strong for Trinity to handle.
Much was made of a handful of players missing for the Warriors but the Wildcats themselves when into the match unable to call on the services of props Scott Anderson (knee), Richard Moore (hamstring), Chris Annakin (knee) and Andy Raleigh (hamstring), whilst new signing Nick Scruton wasn’t registered in time to be available for selection and Dean Collis missed out through suspension.
That meant an inexperienced middle unit for Agar’s side and with Wigan’s pack led by the talismanic Sean O’Loughlin, they simply had too much for the Wildcats.
“A tough day for us,” admitted Agar.
“I thought they were just too strong for us at times. There were times when it looked like men against boys but I’ve got a bit of understanding of that for us. We need how to play a little bit tougher for a little bit longer.
“We had an incredibly inexperienced middle. Lucas Walshaw started at prop, which he’s not used to playing. Daniel Smith’s a 21-year old with two games under his belt and Kyle Trout’s probably got about ten games under his belt, so we knew we were doing it light in the middle and it showed unfortunately.
“I thought we had a number of individuals who tried their hardest. On the edge, defensively, we operated okay at times. With the limited amount of football we got, when we set up to the right positions we looked a threat and there were some opportunist plays in there as well.”
Nick Scruton will be the fifth new player to join up with the squad in the last three weeks and that means that the Wildcats will need to revisit some training sessions usually reserved for pre-season, revealed Agar.
Agar is well aware it will take time for things to come together but is confident that with his best players available, he has a squad capable of winning matches.
“I can see enough signs in there and I know we’re going to get better. It’s hard after a day like today to sit and start dissecting a performance apart because we’re just not a side that can carry the six or seven blokes out from today’s team. It was always going to be difficult with the personnel changes we had to make.
“For us, we know training over the next two-four weeks is going to be different for us to other teams. We’ve got to lay some foundations that ordinarily we’d have laid down in pre-season. But we’re confident that we’ve got enough personnel when we get them all out there to show some significant improvement.
“There’s some positive stuff around the corner for us. It’s not ideal circumstances but we’ll get on with it. I’m not going to dwell too much on today. We had some individuals who tried really hard and some good performances in there but there were parts of the game where we were simply blown away.”
Agar confirmed that Danny Kirmond was taken from the field of play with a hamstring strain as a precaution.
You can listen to Agar’s post-match press conference in full on the Wildcats Audioboo channel.