SATISFIED BOSS Richard Agar believes Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ first pre-season fixture “served its purpose”.
Bobbie Goulding’s penalty with the final kick of the game secured an 18-18 draw at Leeds Rhinos in yesterday’s Heatshot Festive Challenge.
The game came more than a month and a half before Wildcats’ Super League opener at Salford Red Devils, on February 16 and Agar said: “It is early days, it was a case of blowing a few cobwebs off and having a good run and I thought we had some good individual efforts.”
The coach added: “As you’d expect at this time of year it was difficult for our attack to flow too much, with where we’re at and the amount of changes we made.
“But I did think we played well out of dummy-half. I thought our most promising football came on the back of some wins and some good momentum and some short passes we got in the ruck.
“We didn’t shift the ball particularly well and we were patchy when we kicked the ball.
“I thought when we turned them around and chased we put them under a bit more pressure and forced errors.
“Defensively we worked quite hard and we looked pretty solid on the edges. All in all, it served its purpose. Everybody got a good run out, we’ve had a look at some of our new guys and it gives us something we can put in front of them – on video – and take forward.”
Agar reckoned the penalty goal which levelled the scores was a reward for his team’s effort. There were seconds left on the scoreboard clock when Wakefield opted to take the two, after initially setting up for a tap.
Agar said: “I apologise for the penalty at the end! We thought there were four seconds left on the clock and you need a pretty special play in four seconds to come up with something that’s going to win you the game. We felt our boys worked hard enough over the course of the 80 minutes not to come away empty-handed.
“We had fingers crossed for a replay on Wednesday night!”
The coach praised ex-Leeds duo Daniel Smith and Paul McShane after the game.
“I thought Dan Smith did a really good job for us,” he said. “A new guy in our team, I thought he fitted in really comfortably. Paul McShane looked threatening every time he got anything he could create in the ruck and he is going to be a real asset for us.”