players have to take full responsibility for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ terrible run, forward Lopini Paea says.
Wildcats are seven points adrift at the foot of First Utility Super League and out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup following a 36-30 capitulation against Kingstone Press Championship leaders Leigh Centurions two days ago.
Wildcats led 24-6 at half-time, but collapsed in the final 40 to heap pressure on coach James Webster. But Paea insisted it is the players who have got Wakefield into their current predicament and they need to dig them out.
“He is working hard,” Paea said of Webster, who took over from Richard Agar last June.
“He is giving us all the tools to play, but at the end of the day it is us players who aren’t going out there and doing a job.
“It’s hard for coaches because generally they’re the ones that cop the blame, but the whole blame is on us as players and as a team.
“The way we are playing doesn’t justify his coaching ability.”
Paea admitted Wildcats had been hoping the Leigh match would be a turning point in their year.
“We have been going pretty bad in Super League and we were looking at using the Cup game to get our confidence back up,” he said. “Leigh were a good test for us and credit to them, they came out on top.”
Wakefield were starved of the ball after half-time and Paea observed: “It is down to hard work and discipline, they go hand in hand. Teams that win work harder and more disciplined teams will get more ball. We gave away too many penalties and they took advantage. We just weren’t good enough to handle it.”
Paea admitted the Cup loss was a blow to Wildcats’ already low morale. He added: “We’ve been pretty down the last couple of weeks, or most of the season.
“It’s even lower now than it was before so it’s going to be tough for the boys. We have got to stick in there, keep working hard and try and get some results. We’ve got a big game against Widnes on Sunday and all we can do is try and get some pride back.”
Paea made his return against Leigh after two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
“I am glad I got through,” he said. “You always question yourself going into a game after a long injury – will you reinjure the same thing? I was happy to get through it, I just wish I could have contributed more.”
Wildcats’ Mickael Simon has been charged with Grade B reckless striking with the shoulder on Leigh Centurions’ Martyn Ridyard in the 35th minute of last Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie at Belle Vue.
The RFL’s match review panel issued a formal caution to Wildcats’ Jacob Miller for making a dangerous throw on Leigh’s Ryan Brierley in the 51st minute.