Wakefield Wildcats: Webster forced to widen his selection parameters

Jarrod Sammut.
Jarrod Sammut.
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We need to be better for longer – that’s the message from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats boss James Webster to his battered troops ahead of tonight’s challenge at Wigan Warriors.

Last Sunday’s defeat at home to Huddersfield Giants was Wildcats’ fourth successive loss, after wins in their opening two games.

They have plunged to bottom spot in First Utility Super League and their lengthy casualty list now includes scrum-half Tim Smith (knee) and captain Danny Kirmond, who is carrying various knocks.

But Webster insisted he remains confident in his side’s ability and he reckons they can pull off what would be a huge upset this evening, if they raise their game and play for the full 80.

“Every game is a big game for us,” Webster said. “We will do our best and we think we can go there and get a result. If we can improve on what we did last week we will give ourselves a chance. We were well in it for most of the game.

“We started really poorly, but after that we looked on a par with them until we made a couple of errors on breaks and they pulled away.

“They deserved to win, but we gifted them some tries and the scoreline probably looks a bit worse on us than it actually was.

“But if we can be better for longer, we will be in with a chance.

“Somehow we need to do that. We have shown at our best we are able to match teams, but the best teams can do it for longer. It is up to us to get to that level.”

Webster identified handling errors as the root cause of his side’s poor run of results. He stated: “Mistakes are killing us. I think the highest completion rate we’ve had this year was 70 per cent, in round one.

“We have had a massive problem being able to create pressure for long enough because we’ve not been able to hold on to the ball.”

On-loan St Helens forward Jordan Hand and academy winger Tom Johnstone are both in contention to make their debut and Jarrod Sammut and Kyle Trout could also receive a call-up.

Wigan coach Shaun Wane will select from the 17 who lost to Leeds Rhinos a week ago, plus Ryan Hampshire and James Greenwood.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: from Arundel, Collis, Crowther, Griffin, Hall, Hand, Johnstone, Lauitiiti, McShane, Miller, Owen, Riley, Ryan, Sammut, Scruton, Simon, D Smith, Trout, Washbrook

Wigan Warriors: from Bateman, Bowen, Burgess, Clubb, C Farrell, L Farrell, Gelling, Greenwood, Hampshire, Manfredi, McIlorum, Mossop, Patrick,Sarginson, M Smith, Tautai, J Tomkins, L Tomkins, Williams.

Referee; George Stokes.

Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.