Wakefield Wildcats: It’s a good start but there’s much more to come – Agar

Richard Agar.
Richard Agar.
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THEY ARE a team in form after scoring 106 points in their last two games, but boss Richard Agar reckons Wakefield Trinity Wildcats can get better – and will need to at home to St Helens tomorrow.

Wildcats got off the mark with a 56-14 demolition of visitors Catalan Dragons 13 days ago, before going to London Broncos and winning 50-22 last Saturday.

Those wins, against teams tipped to be around Wildcats in the final table, were huge for the club and Agar admitted his side will go into tomorrow with some confidence and momentum behind them.

“People described the last two games as four-pointers,” Agar said. “I’ve had a look at the league table and we are sat on four points after them, not eight. They were both only worth two points, but they were viewed as important games and I thought we got the job done really well in them.

“It has given us some confidence, some impetus and certainly something to work on, but we still think we are a long way short of where we need to be – or to term it better, we still think there’s a lot of improvement in us.

“We have got a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction and hopefully we can evolve and get better. Our understanding will get better, but we have shown some good signs and ability to score tries and to score them in different ways.

“Gradually getting everybody back to fitness is creating some competition for places and the outlook for us or the belief in what we can achieve with this squad this year has somewhat changed over the last few weeks.”

Neither of Wildcats’ two victims has picked up a point yet, but Agar rejected any suggestion they have overcome easy-beats.

“You play against who’s in front of you on the day and you expect them to produce their best performance,” he said.

“I didn’t see anybody tipping Catalan for a bottom-two spot at the start of the year. London have got their struggles, like ourselves.

“We understand that every week brings different challenges and this week brings a different challenge. We are playing a team that has only used 19 players up to this week and their consistency and continuity has certainly helped them.

“This week they are going to have some changes, so they are going to face some personnel issues and guys playing out of position perhaps, with some in-form players not in the team.

“For us, there’s a bit of not knowing their line-up and not being sure of what’s going to be in front of us. But we know it is a bigger challenge, they are unbeaten and they have played some really good stuff.

“I think looking at Saints it is easy to look at their star players, but it’s their teamwork that’s impressing me. They aren’t completely blowing teams away in every game – though they have in a couple – with outstanding football. They did against Salford and Warrington, but it is their team work and how hard they are working for each other. They have got some young, fit, powerhouse forwards that take a lot of handling and some class players in there too. We know it is a tough challenge, but we are very much looking forward to it.”

Andy Raleigh and Jimmy Keinhorst could return for Wildcats tomorrow after injury and Harry Siejka is included in the initial 19-man squad, for what would be his debut. Matty Wildie, a substitute last week, drops out.

Saints are without half-back Luke Walsh due to a calf injury. Jordan Turner and Alex Walmsley are also out from the side which beat Catalan last week and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook is beginning a two-match ban.

So Matty Dawson could make his debut and Mark Flanagan, Joe Greenwood, Anthony Walker, Greg Richards and Luke Thompson could be recalled.

Wakefield Wildcats from: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Lyne, Riley, Sammut, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Scruton, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Tautai, Ryan, Sykes, Smith, Siejka, Raleigh, Keinhorst.

St Helens from: Lomax, Makinson, Jones, Swift, Hohaia, Masoe, Roby, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Greenwood, Walker, Dawson, Richards, Thompson.

Referee: Tom Roby (Preston).

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.

NEW FACE:  Michael Monaghan. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

Michael Monaghan signs up for Wakefield Trinity’s 2018 bid to aim higher