Wakefield Trinity boss sees improvement after 'brutal and honest' conversations with players
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Although Trinity suffered their tenth defeat from 10 Super League games they tested new leaders Wigan Warriors and only conceded four tries to one in an improved showing against opponents who came into the game bang in form.
An 18-0 half-time deficit left Wakefield with a mountain to climb, but they won the second half 6-4 and could take some encouragement from this into this week’s international break.
Applegarth revealed he had some "brutally honest” talks with players in the build-up to the latest game and was pleased with improved efforts that brought.
He said: “We have identified, without going into personal stuff, some issues within the team. Some people probably weren’t doing their job as well as they could.
“We had some pretty brutal and honest conversations that most teams do have after things like that.
“I saw some improvement from those players and we made a couple of changes that we felt were needed after last week.
“I’m not questioning whether someone has given it everything they have got – which should be there as it’s their job. I can’t ask for no more. I definitely feel 1-17 they answered those questions I asked of them.
"You can see they're fighting hard for one another, there's a few lads playing to capacity and giving it everything they've got. We've just got to stick at it and have that belief that we can turn it around.
“They were showing up for each other in defence, but Wigan are a top team with quality players. It wasn’t down to lack of effort that we got undone."
The Trinity boss will be pleased to have a week off now to get more bodies back after injury struck again just before kick-off at Wigan when full-back Will Dagger had to pull out during the warm-up.
Applegarth explained: “It’s a lay over from last week, he hurt his back but he trained on Thursday and Friday so he put his hand up.
“In the warm-up he went into a collision and felt some shooting pains down his side. We had to pull him out.”
Applegarth is hoping Dagger will be back for the next game on May 5 against Warrington along with Kelepi Tanginoa, who is close to a recall and was almost selected for the Wigan trip.
“As tempting as it is for me to play him, he was 50/50 and maybe could have played but common sense kicked in for me,” added Applegarth.
“I’m desperate for him to get out on the field but that extra week or so will be massively beneficial.”