Wakefield Wildcats: Kirmond hoping for gains after derby pain

Danny Kirmond
Danny Kirmond
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WAKEFIELD TRINITY WILDCATS captain Danny Kirmond is hurting – and not because of a wound to an eye.

Kirmond suffered a facial injury in Wildcats’ Magic Weekend derby against Castleford Tigers three days ago, but admitted the 50-12 defeat was much more painful.

The skipper had to leave the action following a clash of heads with team-mate Dean Collis, but returned to the field in a vain bid to get Wakefield back in the game.

He could not prevent a nine-try loss which ended a two-match winning run and Kirmond admitted it was a shock to the system after performances seemed to be improving.

“We weren’t very competitive at all and that’s the disappointing thing,” Kirmond conceded.

“It was a bit of a humiliating defeat really. We have got to say fair play to Castleford, because they played well.

“But we weren’t at the races. That’s probably the worst we’ve played since Hull KR and that’s the disappointing thing.

“We felt like we were going in the right direction and hopefully it is just a blip. I think it is up to us as players to make sure it is just a blip.”

Wins away to Hull – after they had trailed 16-0 in the second half – and Widnes Vikings had boosted Wildcats’ confidence, but boss Richard Agar admitted after Sunday’s game they were still capable of coming up with well below-par performances.

“That is one thing we need to eradicate, definitely,” Kirmond said.

“Game-management and the way we are finishing our sets is making it really hard on some players who are putting in a lot of effort – and probably putting in more effort than they need to.

“That’s the main thing. I think we were competitive for the first 10 minutes against Cas and once things went downhill we looked like we struggled to get into the game.

“That was really disappointing, especially after the last couple of weeks and the character we have shown to come from behind and winning the game at the death against Widnes.

“A derby game is always tough to lose, but to lose by that many points is really hurtful and it’s one I struggled to take.”

After four games on the road, Wildcats return to Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Sunday to face Warrington Wolves.

Warrington lost to second-bottom Bradford Bulls earlier this month, but beat high-flying St Helens convincingly in the final game of the Magic Weekend.

“Warrington have been up and down a little bit compared to how they have been in recent seasons,” Kirmond said.

“But I am sure they will be looking to fix up their season and get a few wins on the bounce. It is a massive game for us, it is the first time we’ve been at home for a while and it is important we put in a performance for the fans as well.”

Meanwhile, Kirmond is expected to play this Sunday after tests revealed he did not suffer a fractured cheekbone in the collision with Collis. Explaining his decision to return to the field, Kirmond said: “The eye was sore and I was struggling to see out of it. But it was really hard for our middles and I didn’t really want to leave them out there for too long.

“It was tough enough for them with the heat, so I wanted to get back out there and help the team.”

Collis visited a specialist yesterday after suffering a knee injury in the early stages of last Sunday’s game and could be facing a spell on the sidelines.

Kallum Watkins in action against Castleford in pre-season.

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