THEY ARE playing only for pride, but prop Jon Molloy says Wakefield Trinity Wildcats need to improve.
Wakefield will take a four-game losing streak into Sunday’s First Utility Super-8s fixture at Widnes Vikings. They have not won since confirming their top-eight place – and Super League survival – last month, but Molloy stressed Wakefield are determined not to let an encouraging season end on a low note.
Back-to-back defeats in the Super-8s – to Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves – have left Trinity 12 points adrift of the top-four with five games remaining.
But a win on Sunday would lift them a place on the ladder and Molloy said the players’ big incentive is to regain the form they showed earlier in the year, when they went on a run of nine wins in 10 games.
“We are in the top eight, but performance-wise we are pretty disappointed,” he said. “We have got injuries, but we can’t use that as an excuse, everyone’s got injuries.
“We have got to try and put in a good performance and ultimately get the win. We haven’t had a different attitude because we are in the top-eight, though some people have thought that.
“We’ve just not been playing as well as we had been, it’s as simple as that.”
Wildcats’ injury crisis reduced them to the bare bones before last week’s defeat by Warrington, when England academy forward James Batchelor made his senior debut.
“Injuries give someone else an opportunity to come in or play big minutes,” Molloy said. “The lads who’ve come in have done really well.
“That has been exciting, it has been really good for them to come in and they haven’t looked out of place at all.”
Widnes are seventh, ahead of Wakefield – who beat them at home and away in the regular season – on points difference.
Trinity will take confidence from the 18-16 victory at Halton Stadium four months ago and Molloy reckons the artificial pitch there brings the best out of Wakefield.
“It is a good surface,” he said. “We play some good football when we go over there and hopefully we can do that this week. It will be a tough game. They didn’t win against Hull last week so they will be looking to come out firing, just like us.”