Wakefield Wildcats: Encouraging signs in defeat insists coach Smith

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

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BOSS BRIAN Smith felt there were more positives than negatives from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ opening match of the season.

Wildcats were beaten 24-16 by visitors Widnes Vikings in First Utility Super League round one, after trailing 18-4 at the break.

“There’s some obvious disappointments in the game,” Smith conceded.

“But I think the pluses probably outweigh the minuses, for today at least.

“I wouldn’t like to be saying that in six or eight or 10 weeks’ time, but some of the stuff we need to fix out of today’s game is stuff we can fix.

“I think the other stuff I am most pleased about is the way we went about playing a strong, physical game against a very strong, physical team.

“Our boys did a pretty good job at that for most of the game, but the errors and some first-half penalties in particular really hurt us.”

Smith was encouraged by the way his team rallied after trailing by 14 points at half-time.

“There was a sensational try-saver by Bill Tupou and then we went back and put a try on them straight away,” he said.

“The other try we scored under the posts was a real bit of class. I thought there were some great things individuals did and as a group we owned the second half for territory and put lots of pressure on them.

“But they dealt with that pretty well, much better than we did.

“We were chasing the game and we finished up with about a dozen errors.

“If we can cut that nearly in half we will give ourselves a better chance of winning, particularly if we continue to work hard like the boys did today.”

Five of Wakefield’s team were making their first competitive appearance, including full-back Ben Jones-Bishop and scrum-half Liam Finn.

Smith admitted it will take time for new players to settle in and he reflected: “A bit like the team, most of them had some good moments.

“Overall they got themselves a pass mark. I think they will benefit from the game.

“I am pretty encouraged by most of what happened today, particularly around the new guys.”