WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats head coach Richard Agar says his side’s stunning 33-32 victory over St Helens has put them right in the mix for the Super League play-offs.
Agar had been coy of Wakefield’s top-eight chances going into the clash with Saints but Paul Sykes’s last-gasp winning kick hauled Wildcats to within a point of the play-offs with a favourable run-in on paper.
“I think so,” Agar said in response to whether Wakefield could make the top-eight.
“I don’t study the table or other teams’ fixtures but I do know that where we are on points now then if we can get a result at Hull KR next week then momentum is with us an we’ve put ourselves in a real shout of it.
“That’s probably the first time this year that I’ve openly admitted it and probably really believed it, but we’re in the mix for sure.”
Wakefield face their biggest match of the season at eighth-placed Hull KR on Sunday before hosting Widnes Vikings and making the trip to Salford City Reds for their final match of the regular season.
And Agar is keen to keep the winning momentum going into those final three matches.
“From the point when we started if you’d have said with three games to go we were going to be challenging for a play-off spot, I think Garry Schofield went on record to say he would run round naked so I will be texting him in the morning,” he joked.
“On a serious note, I think the important thing that we’ve said to them [the players] in there is not to let our hard work slip.
“It took us a while to get going, we were working extremely hard. I think it’s blatant to see the spirit that exists within the squad and we don’t want that hard work to go to waste.
“Next week is our biggest game of the season, undoubtedly, with a team that’s just above us. If we can get a performance at Hull KR it’d really throw the cat amongst the pigeons for the play-off spots and we don’t want that hard work slip.
“I want them to enjoy the moment, beating Saints is a huge achievement and I want them to enjoy that, but we want to regain our focus very quickly and not let this momentum slip.”
St Helens acting head coach Mike Rush admitted Wakefield were worthy winners but was scathing of referee Thierry Alibert’s performance.
“Taking nothing away from Wakefield, they’re in great form and deserved the win, but I’m sick of being involved in games like that when he’s refereeing,” he said.
“He kills us. Every time we’ve had Thierry Alibert in a game this year we’ve ended up in situations like that: games with no control about them. I appreciate I’m going to get in trouble for it, but every single time we have this guy, he hammers the game.”
He added: “I didn’t think we were great, sometimes you can judge enthusiasm and mental state on your kick chases, and ours were poor,” Rush said. “We should have had Ben Cockayne tackled in goal, but he breaks away and two tackles later they score. They worked that littler bit harder and wanted it a little bit more than us.”
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