Wakefield face a must-win game against Halifax next Saturday after being completely outclassed by Widnes Vikings.
Wakefield had been competitive in their first four fixtures in the Super 8s but had no answer to the rampant Vikings and now must defeat Halifax to cement their place in the million-pound play-off for a place in next season’s Super League.
“It was a poor day for us today,” said Wildcats coach Brian Smith, who shouldered some of the blame.
“Widnes were as good tonight as they were against Bradford and maybe even better at times. They started with a bang and we just couldn’t bang back with them.
“It’s very disappointing. We’ll need to improve remarkably next week to get ourselves anywhere near where we like to think we can be.
“I think I at least contributed to tonight’s performance because it was lacklustre from the beginning.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve tried to do some things in terms of preparation that most of the players are not familiar with. I tried to revitalise them a bit with energy but the payback was we were soft.”
Widnes coach Denis Betts says his side are playing without a care in the world as they took another major step towards securing their Super League status.
A fourth win from five matches in the Super 8s Qualifiers virtually guarantees their place in the top flight for 2016 and Betts believes the new-found freedom was behind their latest points feast.
“Nobody has been in the Super 8s before so none of the players understand what it’s like to be in a relegation fight,” Betts said. “We decided to get our energy in defence right and our attack would build once we got that anxiety out of us.
“In the first two or three weeks, you saw that anxiety in our attack but our ruthless edge in defence got us results. What you are seeing now is that the anxiety has dropped out of us and we’re scoring points that we know we can score.
“It was a thoroughly professional performance.
“We scored some great tries but to concede only four points here is a fantastic effort. That’s the pleasing part.”