Wakefield Wildcats boss Agar left to take positives from “useful exercise” at Doncaster

TRIAL TEST: Wakefield winger Ben Cockayne tries to squeeze through the Doncaster defence in yesterday's trial game
TRIAL TEST: Wakefield winger Ben Cockayne tries to squeeze through the Doncaster defence in yesterday's trial game

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats boss Richard Agar could take plenty of positives from a “useful exercise” in Sunday’s trial game victory over Doncaster.

Wakefield showed their Super League class with a comprehensive 44-4 victory over the Championship Dons but Agar was more concerned with giving his squad some vital time on the pitch before the Super League opener at Bradford Bulls.

The recent snowfall and freezing conditions resulted in outdoor field sessions being at a premium for Wildcats over the last week, so Sunday’s clash at the Keepmoat Stadium was just the tonic for Agar and his men.

“It served a purpose for us” said the ’Cats boss.

“I’ve got to admit I wasn’t massively bothered about any scorelines. We’ve had so little time on the field apart from our time away in Portugal and the weather’s hampered us again this week.

“We’ve had forwards coming back from injuries and post-season operations so we thought it would be a great opportunity to have a run-out on a full sized rugby field, have some contact and some genuine game fitness into us because we’ve had so little of it. That’s ultimately what we used it for.”

Agar was disappointed at his side’s showing at St Helens in their previous outing, albeit against stronger opposition, and that disappointment was compounded by injuries to Andy Raleigh and Tim Smith.

Isaac John suffered a dislocated finger late on in Sunday’s game at Doncaster but other than that Wakefield came through unscathed, and Agar managed to give a crucial 40 minutes to the majority of his men.

“We’ve had a lot of things thrown up,” he said. “[In the] First half our performance was just what we were looking for. We weren’t looking for anything flash, we just wanted to pay a lot of attention to detail, everybody be in the right spots at the right time and basically get the jobs done effectively and I thought they did that. The attitude was really good.

“In the second half it wasn’t going to be as slick as the first half and we didn’t expect it to be. But we can take some review out of this, take it to our halves and Bobbie [Goulding] in particular because it’ll be a really good game for him to look at from his point of view.”

He continued: “We’ve come through unscathed. Mariano got plenty of gametime. Wilkes and Amor got a good, solid workout under their belts, far better that we could probably expect had today been a normal training day for us so we’re certainly happy in that regard.”

Ali Lauitiiti and Dean Collis were both absent from the squad but Agar said there were no injury concerns over the pair.

He said: “We know were they’re at. They’re very important players for us, they’re both physically fit and in good shape and I don’t think we’d find out too much what Ali can do and what Deano can do.”