A WIN for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats this evening would complete a “special” achievement, in the eyes of boss Richard Agar.
Wildcats will qualify for the Stobart Super League play-offs for only the third time if they beat Salford City Reds, at Leigh Sports Village, this evening or Bradford Bulls lose away to Catalan Dragons earlier in the afternoon.
Wakefield, who finished second from bottom last year, went into the 2012 campaign with a new coach and 17 off-season recruits.
And Agar admitted: “For us to make the play- offs would be a magnificent achievement and a reward and testimony to everyone who has been involved in our season.
“Most pundits tipped us for bottom and you could see the circumstances and the reasons why.
“We are not a team that spends anywhere near the salary cap and we had some issues that needed sorting out in terms of chopping and changing the roster from last year to try and get a more competitive outfit.
“I think we have been competitive all year. Like any team we have had the odd blip, but from the word go, even when we haven’t got the results, we have been spirited and competitive and tried to play the game in the right way.
“We have got our just rewards over the second half of the season and since the Magic Weekend only Wigan have accrued more league points than us.”
Agar won the Challenge Cup as an assistant coach with Hull, but he said: “I have been in the game a long time and I’m very fortunate that I have had some outstanding days and moments and got some medals in my cupboard at home.
“But (if Wildcats finish in the eight) it will be right up there because of the size of the challenge we face and the enjoyment we have had doing it.”
Agar admitted Bulls’ earlier kick-off could have a bearing as his team will go into their game knowing exactly what they need to do.
That could put pressure on or take it off and Agar said: “All the last- round games should kick off at the same time.
“I understand the obligations to TV, but I think everybody kicking off at the same time gives added excitement to everybody.”
Agar will select from the players who beat Widnes Vikings last week, plus Kyle Trout and Matt James.
Reds’ initial 19 includes the players beaten 46-12 at Leeds Rhinos eight days ago, plus Josh Veivers and Luke Adamson.
Salford City Reds: from Patten, Broughton, Gleeson, Gibson, Williams, Holdsworth, Howarth, Boyle, Anderson, Sidlow, Ashurst, Nero, Wild, Owen, Neal, J James, Walne, Veivers, Adamson.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: from Mathers, Fox, Collis, L Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T Smith, Amor, Ellis, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Wood, Mariano, Johnson, Wilkes, M James, Trout.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).
Kick-off: September 8, 6.15pm, at Leigh Sports Village.