Wakefield Trinity Wildcats head coach Richard Agar said it was a case of ‘job done’ against Hemel Stags in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fourth round.
Wildcats progressed thanks to a 66-6 victory against their Kingstone Press Championship 1 opponents at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Saturday night.
The scoreline flattered Wakefield, who came up against some stern Hemel defence for an hour but five tries in the last 20 minutes added gloss to the final score as Stags tired.
“We’re in the next round,” said Agar. “Sometimes you’re on a bit of a hiding to nothing in these games. At times we had a little bit of a lack of intensity out there. I’m not excusing it but I can understand at times why.
“Having said all that, I’ve just said in there to them, ‘Don’t go kicking stones.’ Of course we’re a little disappointed with our performance but we got the job done and we’re into the next round and that’s all that matters.”
Agar fielded a much-changed squad for the cup clash but was still left largely disappointed by what his men produced overall.
“I was disappointed with our overall performance,” he commented.
“I thought we were really ordinary with the ball and we played pretty boring at times. It was the only last fifteen minutes when we started playing a little straighter and more direct that we got some rewards for it.
“We could have played a lot more positive. The first four or five sets it was like we were trying to grind sets out and kick in the corners which is certainly not like us, we’re certainly a team that preaches promoting the ball and using it to great effect and with energy.
“I understand there are reasons for it because defences aren’t what we encounter week-in, week-out and we needed make a couple of adjustments on the run. Defensively we were okay.”
Jon Molloy scored a brace of tries on his debut from second row and the Wildcats boss was pleased with his individual performance.
“I thought Jon Molloy was one of our better players if not arguably our best player on the night,” he said.
“It’s going to take him a while to get up to speed because he’s been out eight months so we’re not expecting miracles from him straightaway but he looked strong, direct and he really knows how to attack on that edge. It won’t be long before he’s knocking on the door for us.”
The Wildcats boss also reserved special praise for Hemel, who could return to Pennine Way with their heads held high.
“I’d like to really compliment the opposition, I thought they had a right crack,” he said.
“Their centres defended outstanding at times and their half-back tried to create and put some good plays on. They had a real dig, were a real credit to their coach and covered themselves in a lot of glory.
“Never mind the scoreboard, I thought their effort was outstanding and they had a right good go. They made tackles and they made them as well, they didn’t miss many.”