WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats head coach John Kear insists his side must improve the defensive side of their game if they’re to stand any chance of a Super League upset against Huddersfield Giants on Sunday.
Nathan Brown’s men make the trip to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium in the top-two and with Wakefield coming into the game on the back of consecutive defeats.
A 34-12 loss at Salford City Reds followed a 42-22 home reverse against Catalan Dragons.
As well as current form, Wakefield have conceded 106 points against Huddersfield in their last two head-to-heads on home soil.
And Kear knows how important a much-improved defensive performance will be for his men if they’re to get anything from this weekend’s game.
“We had an area of defence that was exploited by Salford City Reds,” he said.
“There’s ways of fixing the defence up, one way is to practice in training which we’ve gone about, and another way is to change personnel so I think you can safely be rest assured that there will be changes of personnel in certain areas.
“Just look at the points we’ve conceded and that’s obviously the thing we need to fix up. We conceded 42 against Catalan and 34 against Salford. It’s a lot of points so that’s been the major focus in training this week.”
He continued: “Huddersfield are a good team. I was delighted how we played against them earlier in the season and we’re looking to replicate that.
“I don’t think they’re just our bogey team, ask Leeds when they played them at Headingley. There’s more than one team that’s gone down to Huddersfield.”
Wakefield won’t have to face former star man Danny Brough, who has been sidelined for eight weeks after suffering an ankle injury in the Giants’ victory over Castleford Tigers at the weekend.
It means Brough, who has worked under Kear at Wakefield and Hull FC, will miss Friday night’s clash between England and the Exiles.
But the Cats boss would rather see his former player fit and ready for his England debut.
“Danny’s an outstanding rugby league player, there’s no bigger fan of Danny Brough than me,” he said.
“I’m pretty sad that he’s missing the England game because I know it meant a lot to him. I know he’s worked really hard to get in the England team and there’s a certain sadness and irony that he’s missing out now he would have been picked.
“I’ve spoken to Danny this week and given him my best wishes. I’d sooner him be missing having played for England against the Exiles than him be missing as he is now. You take advantage of one of the good players missing but I’d sooner him be fit and playing for England.”
Another player set to miss out on inclusion in Friday’s night’s inaugural international match is Wildcats skipper Glenn Morrison.
Morrison was named in the Exiles squad but has been named outside the 17 as the 18th-man replacement.
And although the Cats boss is pleased that his captain will be fit and ready for Sunday’s Super League game, he’s disappointed that he won’t be involved in international competition.
He said: “I think he had five State of Origin call-ups and each one he was the spare man.
“I do feel for him in a way but I also know he’s such a mentally tough person that it won’t have an impact on him. Physically I’m pleased that he’ll be fresh and available for Sunday afternoon.”
Julien Rinaldi will definitely be missing for the encounter after Wakefield were advised to let him fully recover rather than play him through the pain barrier.
Kear said: “We’ve been jabbing him up and playing him but we’ve been advised that we need to sit him down and leave him out until he’s fully recovered.”
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