HEAD coach Richard Agar was scathing in his assessment of Wakefield Wildcats’ performance against Bradford Bulls on Sunday.
Agar watched his side fall to a disappointing 34-26 Super League defeat against Bulls at Odsal and said he felt let down by some of those wearing the red and blue.
“I’m pretty annoyed, he said.
“I thought we had some guys who didn’t show up today and that’s a difficult thing for me as a coach to call because that’s one thing that probably can’t be levelled at us too often this year.
“I thought there were some players that simply didn’t have the required amount of desire to win that game. Whether that’s because we played on Monday and struggled on a short week I’m not too sure but I’m thoroughly disappointed because I felt it was a game where we probably didn’t have to do too much more to be in with a chance of winning it.”
Wildcats found themselves playing catch-up for the second week on the spin. They trailed 12-0 at Leeds Rhinos last Monday and tries from Elliott Whitehead and Keith Lulia within the first seven minutes left Wakefield with it all to do again at Odsal.
“I thought our start at Leeds wasn’t too bad,” he said. “Although we were 12-0 down I felt we were the better of the two sides. Starts this year are something we have done really well so I’m not going to massively think is a problem with our team.
“I think our attitude wasn’t where it needed to be and it was as simple as that. We needed a massive attitude adjustment after about fifteen minutes of the game and I thought we got that.
“In the latter part of the first half we looked a little bit more like ourselves. But the start of the second half, our kick selection and the attitude on our chase just stank. Maybe we papered over the cracks by running some points in.”
As at Headingley Carnegie, Wakefield showed their battling qualities to come from behind and lead to take a slender 20-18 advantage into half-time. With the wind in their favour on the resumption Wildcats will have fancied themselves for the two points but it wasn’t to be.
Bulls’ Luke Gale adjusted better to the blustery conditions with the boot, kicking Bulls to victory, but Wakefield struggled with their kicking game throughout the second 40 minutes.
“The second half we thought with discipline and honesty in our defensive live then we felt we’d get some field position and we’d be able to convert it,” Agar commented.
“Whether or not we were under the guise the wind would do it for us, it certainly didn’t work that way. Sending kicks over the dead ball line, kicking out on the full, kicking off on the full and our chase let us down. I felt that was a huge factor in it.
“We started off where we had opportunity to dominate some field position and territory to where we were defending on the back foot and didn’t work hard enough at the ruck.”
The crisis-hit Bulls could enter administration this week but head coach Mick Potter insists his squad are just focused on on-the-pitch matters.
“We’re getting a few results and there’s nothing we can do about the situation,” he said,
“All we can do is keep getting on with what we are paid to do, which is doing our best out on the field. I’m more than happy that we got two points today, although there’s still a lot to work on.”
He added: “Our players definitely tried their hardest but our execution in play was a mixed bag today. We strive for the best possible result from each play and although it’s not always possible, you don’t stop trying.”
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