Wakefield Wildcats: Coach Webster targets an improved Cats display

James Webster.
James Webster.
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THEIR SEASON got off to a flying start, but Wakefield Trinity Wildcats coach James Webster is looking for an improved performance second time out.

Wildcats opened with a 24-22 derby win at Castleford Tigers six days ago and begin their home campaign against Hull KR tomorrow.

Victory would give Wildcats a four-point head start on a team regarded as being among their main rivals in First Utility Super League this year, but Webster – who is a former Hull KR coach and player – insisted: “If we lost this game it wouldn’t mean we were inconsistent.

“They are a good team. They put 30 points on Leeds last week and were well and truly in the game right until the end. We want to win and we’re confident we can do, but we’re wary they have recruited some outstanding players this year.”

The victory at Castleford was a huge shot in the arm for Wakefield, but Webster said their performance was far from perfect and will need to be better in certain areas tomorrow.

“We’re confident we can come up with a game plan so we can score some points against them – and we will have to,” he said.

“We need to control the ball better. We made 57 more tackles than Cas, which equates to them having 10 more sets.

“They had the ball for six more minutes than us so we lacked energy and field position.

“We didn’t play them off the park at any stage, but we were good enough to hang in there until we got a chance and we took it at the end.

“We don’t want to go through the whole year like that – we want to play a bit more footy.”

Wildcats’ defensive effort under huge pressure was a major positive for Webster, who added: “The tries we let in were soft, but we held them up over the line four times and the players really worked for each other.

“If they hadn’t done that, we could have conceded 50 points. Whether we can back up this week, time will tell, but it is a big challenge to turn up in the right frame of mind to repeat that sort of effort. We were well and truly beaten by them (Hull KR) twice last year and in the last game they put 30 points against us in the first half, so we know what can happen if we don’t get it right.”

Wildcats fans contributed to a near full-house at the Jungle and Webster has appealed for another big turnout tomorrow, when Matty Ashurst and Mickael Smith could make their debut after being added to another otherwise unchanged squad.

“Hopefully we can get a really big crowd for the first home game,” he said. “We like playing at Belle Vue and I don’t think other teams do.”

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats from: Hall, Riley, Collis, Lyne, Owen, Miller, T Smith, Scruton, McShane, Paea, Kirmond, Washbrook, D Smith, Godinet, Anderson, Annakin, Lauitiiti, Ashurst, Simon.

Hull Kingston Rovers from: Dixon, Mantellato, Welham, Goulding, Sio, Campese, Kelly, Walker, Carlile, Allgood, McCarthy, Horne, Burke, Green, Blair, Cockayne, Bailey, Boudebza, Salter.

Referee: Tim Roby.

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm at Belle View.

Wakefield try scorer Mason Caton-Brown. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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