Wakefield Wildcats: Trinity buoyed by last two victories

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SUCCESSIVE WINS have seen Wakefield Trinity Wildcats turn a corner, skipper Danny Kirmond reckons.

Wildcats will go into Sunday’s Magic Weekend showdown with Castleford Tigers in high spirits following season-changing victories over Hull and Widnes Vikings.

Danny Kirmond

Danny Kirmond

Those successes followed a run of six straight defeats, but Kirmond insisted he was always confident Wildcats would come good and he feels they have been improving in recent weeks.

“I think it has been coming,” the inspirational second-rower said of Wakefield’s mini-revival. “As a squad we have talked about that quite a bit this season. We obviously weren’t going to hit the ground at 100 per cent this year.

“We had a lot of players come in quite late to the squad so it was always going to take a little bit of time. Are we playing at our full potential? No, I don’t think we are – but I do think we have turned a little bit of a corner, picking two wins up on the bounce.

“Widnes were unbeaten at home this season, so that one was a really good win for us. It was a real nip-tuck affair and it could have gone either way, but the character of the squad shone through. It looked like it had gone away from us, but Danny Tickle missed a penalty and then a few of our boys took some real tough carries after playing some big minutes.

“Nick Scruton and Scott Anderson really led from the front in the middle and a lot of credit has to go to them and then right at the death Paul Sykes with his experience came up with a great play to get the winning try. I think you could see the relief, but also the character and morale that’s in the squad with the celebration.”

Tigers have lost their last two, so Wildcats will go into Sunday’s second derby of the season as the form team, in terms of results at least. But Kirmond warned: “Regardless of what’s happened in recent weeks, Wakefield versus Castleford is always a big game.

“It is one I – as a captain – always look forward to. It is a local derby and we always want to win. I am sure Castleford will be saying the same, but it is a massive game for us – and for them after two losses.

“The form they are carrying into the game – despite two losses – is very good. Losing to Huddersfield by a point and Leeds by a few points is nothing to be ashamed of at all.

“They are at the right end of the table so we know it is going to be tough, but we are confident and we are looking to keep improving every week.”

Wildcats remain third from bottom in First Utility Super League, but are now eight points clear of Bradford Bulls, who have won three games, but suffered a six-point deduction for entering administration, a punishment they are appealing against.

Kirmond said: “The table speaks for itself at the moment. The two wins in a row have helped us out massively. It is really tight around the middle of the table and if you pick up a few more wins quickly I think the season looks a lot different to what it could have done.

“Someone said after the game on Friday we had gone above Salford, for a day.

“I was completely unaware of that and I haven’t looked at the table at all. It is too early to be doing that.

“Bradford and the other teams are doing what they’re doing and we are looking after ourselves. I firmly believe if we keep looking after what we are doing we will be safe at the end of the season and we should be looking up rather than down.”

Castleford Tigers' Grant Millington in no-nonsense action against neighbours Wakefield Trinity. PIC: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Importance of momentum not lost on Castleford Tigers forward Millington