Head coach Richard Agar piled the praise on skipper Danny Kirmond following his hat-trick in Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ 46-14 victory over London Broncos on Sunday.
The second rower produced a man of the match display, topped off by three tries, to help his side to a convincing victory over Tony Rea’s men at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The 27-year-old has been one of Wakefield’s players of the season so far and his weekend treble made it an impressive nine tries in his last seven appearances in the red, white and blue.
Agar has been delighted with his skipper’s performances and says they have justified his decision to hand the former Stanley Rangers junior the captaincy.
“Kirmond’s in great form,” he said. “We talked about how the intensity slipped away from our game a bit for a 20 minute period but it didn’t slip away from his and he hasn’t slipped away from his in a long time, he’s been in good form.
“I’ve said it before, I think he’s really responded to the captaincy and he’s leading by example. His week-in, week-out form is very good at the moment. He’s a real handful carrying the ball, he’s very direct but he’s got some lovely little subtleties to his game as well.”
Kirmond scored twice in a first half dominated by the hosts and popped up with a crucial try in the second half after the visitors had fought back with three unanswered touchdowns.
Agar was pleased with his side’s first-half showing and said that lay the foundations for a second win on the spin and a Super League ‘double’ over the capital club.
“[It was] job done,” he commented. “I was obviously pleased with our first half performance, it set it up nicely. Undoubtedly the intensity dropped out of our game for a 20 minute period in the second half. We managed to regain it a little bit towards the latter stages and come home strong and that put a little bit of a dampener on it and there are a couple of guys that probably felt they lost their way during the game and were never quite able to pull it back in.
“I thought our first half display did the job for us, and while we’re a bit disappointed we didn’t get the 80 minute performance we still got the job done.”
Wildcats crossed the line eight times and Agar praised his side’s impressive build-up play.
“In the first half I felt we set off well. We moved the ball about well, made some good inroads and some of the tries we scored were fairly simple close range efforts but you look at the build-up work that went before the tries as a highlight to the way we played, particularly in the first half.
“We kicked the ball well. Lee Smith, some of his touch-finders, the long-raking kicks put us in some terrific position. Some of our tries were fairly simple ones but I felt we did some very good groundwork in the lead up to them.”
One of the few blots on the Wildcats’ copybook was a hamstring injury to in-form centre Dean Collis early on in the game.
Agar says the decision to haul the Australian off was a precautionary one and was pleased to see Frankie Mariano plug the gap at centre well.
“His hamstring was just grabbing a little bit,” Agar said. “We could have potentially tried to work him through it but we felt it was not a game where we needed to take a risk with Deano and it happened early in the game as well.
“We thought we could cover the injury ok and I thought we did, I thought Frankie did a great job moving to centre for us, he had a good all-round strong performance for us today. We had another little injury with Paul Sykes towards the end where he got a whack on his kneecap but that apart we’ve come through ok.”
Agar says he is “fairly hopeful” Collis will be fit to face Hull FC next Monday but will see how the player responds to treatment over the coming days.