Agar can “take plenty” from Wakefield Wildcats’ trial game win over Featherstone Rovers

WINGING IN: Wildcats winger Ben Cockayne evades a tackle from Rover full-back Ian Hardman.
WINGING IN: Wildcats winger Ben Cockayne evades a tackle from Rover full-back Ian Hardman.

WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats head coach Richard Agar could “take plenty out of” his side’s 38-10 trial game victory over Featherstone Rovers on Sunday.

Agar’s Super League side dominated the first half against their Championship rivals and raced into a 28-0 half-time lead before Rovers recovered to “draw” the second half 10-10.

The match was played just days after Wakefield returned from a warm-weather training camp in Portugal and the ’Cats coached was pleased at the way his side performed at the end of their most intensive week of close-season training.

“We thought the game served a purpose and we’ll be able to take plenty out of it,” he said.

“We’re on the backside of a big week as well, we’ve had our biggest week in terms of loadings and stresses that we’ve put on the players and we’ve had some travel thrown into that.

“We’d have probably liked to have rotated the team a little bit more but we ended up having quite a few knocks and having blokes who couldn’t quite return.

“We’re not surprised with a little bit of fatigue in there and we struggled to get forward in the second half. That’s something that we’ll work on.

“The biggest aspect of our play was when we got caught in our own ten metre line and we needed to be a little bit smarter and find a little bit of variety in how we got out of there. That played into Featherstone’s hands in the second half.”

Agar was delighted with his side’s first-half performance in particular as Wildcats showed their Super League class with six unanswered tries.

He paid tribute to Rovers, however, for hitting back and making life tough for his charges in the second half.

“It was a really good first half,” he said.

“I thought we looked well organised, we looked really sharp and we came up with some good plays, and good attacking plays.

“I felt that in all fairness we should have put another couple away and it could have been 40-0 at half-time.

“Sometimes games get like that, I can see why it slowed up in the second half. Credit to Featherstone, I thought they really got a piece of us in the second half and I thought their defence in the middle of the field probably dominated us a little bit for periods.”

He continued: “Defensively we looked well organised. We’ve probably conceded a couple of close in, scrappy pushover tries but on the whole we looked like we knew what we were doing and we were very solid.

“There were some really good tries. I thought the one we got with Richie Mathers finding Ben Cockayne on the kick and chase was an excellent try.”

Agar confirmed there were times during the match that only one fit player could make the interchange bench but the injuries sustained to Wakefield players were only minor.

Justin Poore suffered a facial injury, Vince Mellars went off with a groin injury, Peter Fox got a knock to the head, Reece Lyne felt his hamstring and Paul Sykes suffered a deadleg.

All five players are expected to be fit and available for Wakefield’s next trial game at St Helens this Sunday.

See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest Wakefield Wildcats news.