ANYTHING POSSIBLE IN RUN-IN, SAYS COCKAYNE
Ben Cockayne believes anything is possible as the Wildcats enter the final four games of the season in the hunt for the play-off places.
A trio of West Yorkshire derby wins over Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers have given Wakefield an outside chance of making the top eight with Bradford Bulls, Hull KR and just three competition points between Richard Agar’s men and the play-off positions.
After a season in which the first team squad underwent a huge overhaul, the Wildcats achievement to even be in the play-off hunt at this late stage of the season is an impressive one, and whatever happens in the remaining four games of the campaign the Wildcats fans can be rightly proud of the players efforts.
Whilst Cockayne admits it is still going to be a big ask to make the eight against all the odds, he says that anything is possible in the final month of the campaign.
“There’s always a chance we might be able to sneak in,” said the winger.
“The Hull KR game over at their place could turn out to be crucial. If we can pick up a result against Saints which is a really big challenge for us then we can go to Hull KR and anything’s possible I suppose.”
Cockayne opened the scoring in a comprehensive derby mauling of Castleford on Sunday afternoon and the former Featherstone man admits the players went off the boil in the final twenty minutes knowing the two points were in the bag.
“I thought first half we were pretty convincing in keeping them to zero. In the second half I was carrying a couple of knocks and sort of eased off a bit, and I got that vibe from the rest of the players as well.
“But we held it together and managed to keep them to just two tries.
“We sort of went into auto-pilot towards the back end and we should have been a bit more clinical and really put them to the sword. I think we knew the game was won and we dropped off a little bit and let them sneak back into it with a couple of tries.
“I thought it was a great first hour and the first half was really impressive. The coaching staff said we were at around a 90% completion rate in the half but I think Cas’s was 82% as well.
“The first half, especially the first ten minutes, was a good arm wrestle but once we broke them we got a couple more tries in before half-time and then kicked on in the second half.
“It’s been built up massively and I know Nick Fozzard personally and that he’s working at Cas now, and he’s built this one up really big. He did a good job to be fair to him but I think he’s got a bit of egg on his face after that one.”
Cockayne also added to the praise for Tim Smith, the Wildcats scrum-half laying on five of the Wildcats seven tries in a performance described as a masterclass by head coach Richard Agar.
“I think as the season has gone on Timmy has just got better and better. You can tell that he’s relaxed around the place, he’s enjoying his rugby with the lads and I think he’s enjoying Wakefield in general and it’s showing on the field.
“As this season has gone on he’s been outstanding and I think he’s got to be a contender for our player of the year for what he’s done for the last few months.”
The Wildcats face St. Helens at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Sunday afternoon (kick-off: 3.30pm) looking to continue their impressive recent form with tickets available now.
Buy in-store at the Ridings Centre, the Stadium Box Office, online or by calling 01924 201548/01924 211611.
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