New Wildcats coach: It was a solid improvement

Brian Smith: "Our guys did a good job in terms of gritting their teeth."
Brian Smith: "Our guys did a good job in terms of gritting their teeth."

New Wakefield Wildcats coach Brian Smith saw signs of improvement in his first match in charge.

The Wildcats lost 24-16 to Salford City Reds in a dour Super League game at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Sunday after being thrashed 58-16 at home by Leeds Rhinos the previous week.

Wakefield’s 15th straight league defeat left them nine points adrift of second bottom Salford but they battled hard after twice going 12 points behind.

Tries from skipper Danny Kirmond, loose forward Daniel Smith and former Leeds prop Ian Kirke kept them in the match.

“There wasn’t much in the game,” said Smith who watched the defeat against Leeds last week before officially taking up the reins.

“It was a hard-fought game. Our guys did a good job in terms of gritting their teeth and playing in what proved to be really tough conditions. The weather made the field a bit greasy and the ball was definitely difficult to deal with at times.

“But it was more to do with the referee’s determination of 10 metres today. We just couldn’t come to terms with the fact that there were almost zero quick play-the-balls today.

“We got significant improvement in our stick in the tackle - when we made contact with them we weren’t bouncing away.

“There is still plenty to work on and there were still some disappointing aspects but by and large it was a solid improvement on last week.”