Richard Agar says Saturday’s Magic Weekend derby against Castleford Tigers gives Wakefield Wildcats the perfect opportunity to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at Hull KR last time out.
The Wakefield head coach blasted his side’s performance at Craven Park on Sunday as Wildcats let their 18-16 half-time lead slip to concede 28 unanswered points in the second half and fall four points behind the sought-after top-eight, albeit with a game in-hand on their rivals.
A thorough review of the performance was undertaken at the start of this week and Agar is looking for his troops to bounce back on the big stage at the Etihad Stadium.
“In defeats like the one we experienced at the weekend, particularly our second half performance, there are some questions that need answering,” he said.
“We had a fairly long and thorough review on Monday and we know we dropped way below the standards that have made us a competitive side and that’s disappointing.
“What rugby league does give you, on a short turnaround this week, is 80 minutes this weekend to put it right and there’s no better way for us to put it right than to get one over Castleford on what’s going to be a tremendous occasion on the big stage at the Magic Weekend.”
Agar knows his side cannot afford too many more below-par showings if they are to grab a play-off spot for the second year on the spin.
The second half at Hull KR aside, the Wakefield boss has been relatively pleased with his side’s form over the last month and has called on his men to “dust themselves down” and hit straight back to keep their top-eight hopes alive.
“We feel our form over the last month has been okay, we’ve been quiet happy with it,” he commented.
“The second half at the weekend, we were up at half-time and we didn’t see it coming, we felt at half-time we could go on and win the game and win it well so to experience that, unfortunately, as much as we don’t like it, it’s part of the deal sometimes as a sportsman. We have to take it on the chin, dust ourselves down and get up and set about putting it right and we’ll do that.
“There will be changes to the team this weekend, I think that’s a given, we were mightily disappointed with some efforts that we got at the weekend so we’ve got some scope and some opportunity to make some changes and we’re going to do that. Eighty minutes this week is an opportunity to banish all that went on last week and keep ourselves very much in touch with that eight.”