AUSSIE forward Matt Ryan reckons it is only a matter of time before Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ fortunes change.
Wildcats’ hopes of virtually ensuring First Utility Super League survival with almost half the season remaining were shattered when they lost 20-12 at second-bottom Bradford Bulls three days ago.
That setback was followed just 24 hours later by the news team boss Richard Agar had stepped down, with assistant James Webster moving into the head coach’s hot seat.
Wildcats have no game this weekend and return to action a week on Friday, when they play host to bottom club London Broncos in another crucial four-pointer.
Ryan admitted they will need to play better than they did in the loss at Provident Stadium, Odsal, but he is confident there are enough winnable games left for Wakefield to comfortably secure their top-flight status.
“It was pretty disappointing,” said Ryan, who scored both Wakefield’s tries, of the loss to Bradford. “In the first half, we shot ourselves in the foot.
“In the second half, we put a better effort in but still nowhere up to scratch.
“We definitely didn’t play to our best. We gave the ball away too easily and too many bad penalties but fair play to Bradford. They came out firing and their intensity would have matched any team in the comp in that first half.
“Things just didn’t go our way in the first half. We regathered in the second half but still we have got to do better than that. We have got to start games better and not have to come back from 16-0 down.”
Bulls’ win cut the gap between them and Wakefield, who are one place outside the relegation zone, to six points. Bradford could be told today if their appeal against a six-point deduction for entering administration has been successful, though the decision may not be made public immediately.
The return of any points would make it tight at the foot of the table, but Ryan insisted: “People keep saying that but I am not really thinking about it. We can win games, we have proved that. We just need to start playing better. We have got to get confidence back in ourselves, I think.
“For parts of Sunday’s game, we were in the grind but we just couldn’t get that final pass. We had a disallowed try which some would say was a try, so things just didn’t go our way. I think soon things will turn and start to go our way.”
Ryan stressed he would rather have a fixture this weekend – to get over last Sunday’s loss – but he admitted: “A break for the body is always a good thing and we will get to look after the niggly injuries.
“We have still got a few players to come back and, hopefully, we will get a couple back for the next game. “Taulima Tautai will be big for us when he comes back, so we will prepare over the next two weeks and come out strong against London at home. We will have all the fans there because they are passionate and they stick by us, so we will be ready for a big one.”
London’s visit offers Wakefield an opportunity to give Webster a winning start and end a run of three successive defeats. Ryan said: “We have got plenty of games left we can win.”
Ryan, 25, joined Wildcats late in pre-season from Parramatta Eels and despite tough times for the team on the field, he said: “I love the style of footy here. It is tough, but there’s plenty of attack out there, which is a good thing. It is just disappointing we are not winning when we could be. This is one of the tightest bunches of boys I have been part of, so we will regroup. When we get our confidence back we will get those 50-50 calls and we will get some wins on the board.”
Meanwhile, Wildcats prop Richard Moore has been banned for one game after making an early guilty plea to a charge of Grade B striking in the defeat at Bradford.