WAKEFIELD TRINITY Wildcats boss James Webster admitted he was disappointed his side couldn’t send stalwart prop Andy Raleigh into retirement on the back of a better performance.
Raleigh scored a try in his final appearance, but that was the only highlight of a miserable last game of the season as Wildcats were walloped 42-18 at home by Hull KR.
“He played 291 first grade games in the front-row for four clubs,” Webster said of the 33-year-old former Sheffield Eagles, Hull KR and Huddersfield Giants forward. He is a fantastic bloke, I was lucky enough to play with him a long time ago at Hull KR and the try was a good way to finish.
“Obviously the result will hurt. His last game, he will always remember he got towelled up at home, but for him to score a try and go out playing big minutes, I think he can hold his head up. He has had a great career and I don’t think anybody will ever speak a poor word of Andy Raleigh.”
Webster admitted Wildcats weren’t able to compete with Hull KR physically in the first half and scored some “own goals” with poor passes which gifted the visitors three tries.
“I don’t mind us trying things,” he said.
“It has worked for us over a long period of time, but today we weren’t up to standard on those plays.
“We had poor preparation for the game with a lot of people out and we scratched around to try and get a team together.
“I think the suspension (of Taulima Tautai) hurt us as well, but we don’t have any excuses. We got out there and got beaten by a better team.
“We just didn’t turn up with the right mental attitude to play a tough sport.”
Wildcats slipped a place to 12th on the final table, but Webster – who took over from Richard Agar in June – felt it was an “incredible achievement” to have secured their First Utility Super League status 10 games from the end of the campaign.