WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats head coach John Kear has called on his side to “improve drastically” when they travel to Salford City Reds tonight (kick-off 8pm).
Kear labelled his side’s performance in the 42-22 home defeat against Catalan Dragons on Sunday as their worst of the Super League season so far.
He’s looking for a big improvement at The Willows against a Salford side looking to complete a ‘double’ over Wakefield this season.
“I thought the Catalan game was our worst performance of the season, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” said Kear.
“One of the things that these young men have done as a team this year has been to be really committed to defence. We might have looked a bit scruffy but there’s been a scramble effect where everybody has worked really hard for each other and it wasn’t there last week so it’s something we have to address and improve drastically.”
He continued: “It’s going to be tough. They [Salford] can score some tries, they’ve got some really creative players.
“We’re going to have to go there and defend and work hard and also ask some questions with ball in hand. If we play as we normally play we’ll have a great chance of getting a positive result.”
Salford enjoyed a 32-6 victory over Wakefield at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
And although the Wildcats boss knows the result will give tonight’s opposition a boost, he’s eager for his side to make amends and start catching sides including the Reds in the Super League table.
“It was a comprehensive victory and they played really well,” he said.
“I’m sure they’ll see it as a way of posting two points but obviously we’ve got certain aspirations as well. One of them is to climb up the table and make sure we’re not in the bottom two because the bottom two are held by the teams that had points deducted. We want to haul one of the teams that started on zero points in so it’s a great opportunity for us to start a step towards that.”
Wakefield will be without the injured Dale Morton and Stuart Howarth (both knee) and Paul King and Josh Veivers, who were both ill at the start of the week and have missed training, while Matty Wildie will be rested.
Howarth had scans on his injury yesterday to find out the full extent of the injury, but King and Veivers are both expected to be ready for a return when Wakefield host Huddersfield Giants next time out.
Wildie has been rested “as part of his development” after featuring regularly for Wakefield in the first half of the season.
Prop Jarrad Hickey is set for his debut, as is scrum-half Gareth Moore.
“They’re fresh, its their first games,” Kear enthused.
“Any player who’s making their debut really should be excited, buzzing and enthusiastic and I’m certainly expecting those two players to bring that to the group.”
He continued: “Gareth [Moore] is a half-back, it’s really difficult for a half-back to fit into the team because he’s one of the chiefs and he’s got to learn all the notes in the piece and make sure he can instruct his orchestra to do as he conducts them.
“He’s done pretty well with the reserves and the kid can kick a ball. If you look at our game last week we were deficient with our kicking game and I’m hoping and expecting that Gareth will show a significant team improvement with regard to that aspect.”
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