WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats head coach Richard Agar believes Catalans Dragons can “genuinely challenge” Super League’s top teams this season.
Wildcats welcome the French club to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3.30pm) looking to build on their impressive performance at Warrington last weekend and end a run of five straight defeats.
And although Agar believes recent matches against in-form opposition will help Wakefield against fifth-placed Dragons, he knows Trent Robinson’s men will be a tough nut to crack.
“On their day they’re a very good side,” he said.
“When you’re talking of teams like Wigan, Warrington and Leeds they’re one side, along with Huddersfield, who can genuinely challenge this year.
“It’s good for us that we’ve had three or four really tough contests coming in to this so hopefully we’ll start to get acclimatised to playing this level of opposition and knowing what it takes to compete and be successful against them.”
He continued: “It’s a tough challenge. It’s a different challenge to Warrington because they play a different style, they’re a very big, powerful and agile unit.”
Wakefield lost 46-10 against Dragons in a pre-season trial game.
It came at the end of a week-long training camp and Agar doesn’t believe the result will have any bearing on Sunday’s contest.
“The timing of that game didn’t necessarily do our performance too much justification on the back end of a week in a training camp,” he said.
“But nonetheless we know a bit of what to expect of them and we know it’s going to be a big challenge because of the sheer size, power and explosiveness they’ve got in the team, as well as two great half-backs.”
Danny Kirmond will be fit and available for Wakefield after suffering a facial cut and concussion on Sunday’s game at Warrington.
Agar believes Kyle Amor will also be better for making a return to action at the Halliwell Jones stadium after returning from a broken hand.
Wakefield were left with plenty more positives than negatives from last weekend and Agar believes a few minor improvements should help his side secure a first win since the opening-day success at Widnes.
“From an offensive point of view we know we’re creating chances and whenever we’re doing that we’re going to be in with a shout,” he said.
“We just need to fix-up in the middle of the park defensively.”
He added: “Far from us being downbeat and soul searching we’re quite the other way, we’re looking forward to every week as it comes and striving to get that win.”
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