JOHN Kear is keen to see just how far his side has improved since their opening day 40-20 defeat to Castleford Tigers when the two rivals meet at the Probiz Coliseum tomorrow (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Wakefield head coach believes his side has made big strides forward since that day, but also feels Terry Matterson’s men have made big improvements with just one loss in their opening nine matches.
“I think we’ve improved but I certainly think Cas have improved so I think you’ll see a better game than at the Millennium and hopefully fewer penalties too,” he said.
“It’s a massive game. Personally I always look for Castleford and Leeds on the fixture list because they’re the two fixtures that are high intensity.
“We’re then backing up a derby game with a game against the Super League champions. It’s fascinating and it’s tough, certainly on the players and we’ll have to see what we turn up with, but I’m pretty certain we’ll turn up with two good performances.”
Castleford sit third in the Super League table with seven wins, one draw and just the one loss from their opening nine matches.
Their early season form has taken many by surprise and Kear is anticipating a tough derby encounter and has highlighted Danny Orr and Rangi Chase as two key players for the Tigers this term.
“To tell you the truth any team that has got Danny Orr in will be strong,” he said.
“We were interested in signing Danny Orr but he chose to go to Cas and he had his reasons for doing that and good on him, he’s been a great signing for Terry Matterson.
“Rangi Chase has been my player of the season up to now. Whenever I’ve watched Castleford I’ve enjoyed watching Rangi, he’s a really good player. They’re a good workmanlike unit with plenty of flair and plenty of skill there so we know we’ve got our work cut out.”
Castleford have won the last two derby meetings, both on their home patch and both seeing them put 40 points on the scoresheet.
But Kear will be hoping to thwart his hometown club from completing a hat-trick of victories and give Wakefield a big boost ahead of Monday’s clash with Wigan with an impressive performance on Friday.
See Friday’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the district.