Wakefield Wildcats must smarten up to get better of Leeds Rhinos - Aiton

Paul Aiton in match action against Widnes.
Paul Aiton in match action against Widnes.
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Wakefield Trinity Wildcats hooker Paul Aiton admits his in-form side have to be smarter if they are going to get anything from their crucial double-header with Leeds Rhinos.

They play at Headingley on Friday before taking on the champions again a week later in their home fixture which was originally postponed in March due to snow.

Ninth-placed Wakefield have won four consecutive games to leave them knowing their play-offs destiny is now in their own hands.

With no game this weekend due to their Challenge Cup exit, they have had some time off following Monday’s 24-14 win over Widnes Vikings ahead of those looming battles with their West Yorkshire rivals.

Ex-Cronulla star Aiton said: “It’s a long season over here so it’s good just to rest the legs especially as I’ve had a few problems with mine.

“We had heaps of players go off injured against Widnes too and heaps of others playing in different positions.

“I played in four eventually – hooker, right back-row, left back-row and lock – but I didn’t mind. It was just good we could do that.

“But the game was pretty scrappy if I’m honest even when we had everyone on and fit.

“We just have to tidy things up a bit. It’s good versatility from the boys that we can play like that but it still didn’t change the fact we dropped so much ball.

“If we want to compete with the big sides (like Leeds) we can’t really do that. We’ve won four on the trot though which is great heading into the business end and especially these two massive games against Leeds.

“Being the local derby as well, I’m looking forward to them.

“They’ll bring a good crowd here and we love these sorts of matches.”

Wakefield won their last seven games on the trot last year to gatecrash the eight and realise if they repeat that now they will be in the end-of-season bonanza.

That would mean 11 straight victories – an unlikely feat for any side – but in all likelihood Richard Agar’s side will not need to deliver a 100 per cent record. They are just a point behind eighth-placed Hull FC with their game in hand and Papua New Guinea international Aiton said: “It will be a test of our character and of our ability as players what we now do with this chance.

“It is in our hands. For me, personally, I feel we’ve just got to worry week to week.

“That’s what I focus on and the rest takes care of itself.

“But it’ll be good to be involved in this run-in.

“Last year I got injured just before we went on that run and missed the end of the season so I’m glad to be playing this time around. I’m really enjoying it. The weather is unreal and that just changes the game for me.

“It’s a lot drier and it feels good out there.”

Chris Chester

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