Two weeks ago the talk was all about avoiding the drop, but now Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are targeting a place in the Super League play-offs.
Successive victories over Catalan Dragons and London Broncos – during which they have scored 106 points and conceded only 36 – have raised expectations and lifted Trinity up to seventh in the table ahead of the latest round of matches.
Coach Richard Agar has introduced several new players over the last few weeks and is pleased with the way they are fitting into a side which is also seeing an early-season injury crisis begin to clear up.
But for all the optimism which their recent victories have produced, Agar knows his Wakefield team face a much more testing fixture when St Helens – who have won all their five games so far – visit the Rapid Solicitors Stadium tomorrow afternoon. “We understand that every week brings different challenges and this week brings a different challenge,” said Agar.
“We are playing a team that has only used 19 players up to this week and their consistency and continuity has certainly helped them.
“This week they are going to have some changes, due to injuries and a suspension, so they are going to face some personnel issues and guys playing out of position perhaps, with some in-form players not in the team.
“For us, there’s a bit of not knowing their line-up and not being sure of what’s going to be in front of us. But we know it is a bigger challenge, they are unbeaten and they have played some really good stuff.
“We know it is a tough challenge, but we are very much looking forward to it.”
For all his caution about the size of the task at hand, Agar believes that Wakefield are improving and will continue to get better as recent recruits settle in. “We still think we are a long way short of where we need to be – or to term it better, we still think there’s a lot of improvement in us,” he added.
“We have got a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction and hopefully we can evolve and get better.
“Our understanding will get better, but we have shown some good signs and ability to score tries and to score them in different ways.
“Gradually getting everybody back to fitness is creating some competition for places and the outlook for us or the belief in what we can achieve with this squad this year has somewhat changed over the last few weeks.”