Richard Agar says his side need to show their ability to bounce back as they prepare to welcome Warrington Wolves on Sunday (kick-off: 3pm).
Successive wins over Hull FC and Widnes Vikings sent the Wildcats into last weekend’s Magic Weekend with two confidence boosting performances behind them but came up well short against a Castleford Tigers side showing that their early season form was far from a flash in the pan.
With Dean Collis (knee) joining an injury list that already includes Ali Lauitiiti, Reece Lyne, Taulima Tautai and Jimmy Keinhorst, Trinity will be up against it to get a positive result against a Wolves outfit who were impressive in defeating St. Helens at the Etihad Stadium.
Agar says his squad were prepared for adversity throughout the campaign and says they must show the right response on Sunday afternoon.
“We went into the game full of confidence,” said Agar. “We reviewed the game and in the first 15 minutes, I don’t think you can expect to win the game if you’re not prepared to get into the grind. There was some examples of why not with kicking out on the full, loose passes in our own quarter and to be fair to the Castleford middle I thought they rolled us. We never got a grip of that middle and didn’t win anywhere near enough of the battles or the contests in the middle of the field.
“Castleford are playing really well but we got nowhere near responding well enough. I thought the by product of that was that we lost our way alarmingly in attack and played way too sideways.
“It’s a setback. We’ve had a couple of steps forwards and a pretty big one backwards after that. We’ve said it all along that one of the traits we’re going to have to have is that ability to bounce back and get on with the next game.
“We were a little bit quiet in training early on in the week but we’ve got some very big games in front of us and we’re trying not to dwell on it too much.”
After hosting Tony Smith’s side the Wildcats face the bottom two, travelling to Bradford Bulls before hosting London Broncos at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
Sitting eight points clear of those two clubs, two victories could see Agar’s men well and truly in control of their own destiny in the second half of the campaign but despite those two games looming large on the horizon, the Wildcats boss is not looking too far beyond Sunday’s task in hand.
“Naturally people are looking to those games but we’ve got Warrington in front of us first,” said Agar. “We want to go into those two games on as good form and on as good a performance as we can. We spoke about that in the week that we have been here before and had setbacks, but we’ve managed to gradually claw our way back and the first step is this week against Warrington.
“Of course there’s going to be plenty of eyes on the Bradford game and then the London game, and I’m sure both those teams will be feeling the same. I see a lot of similarities in Bradford who are trying exceptionally hard, have got some injuries and are pulling loan players in which disrupts the flow of your team and understanding you will have.
“I see a team that are trying hard and have got some wins in them when they get it right and I see some similarities in us. We know that London are improving as well but we’ll address those games when we need to. For us we want to see some improvements from last week.”
Hear more from Agar on the Wildcats Audioboo channel.