WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats head coach Richard Agar believes Sunday’s home Super League clash against St Helens is potentially the toughest of his side’s four remaining matches.
Three successive wins have given Agar’s men an outside chance of snatching a play-off place. They are just three points adrift of eighth-placed Hull Kingston Rovers who they play at Craven Park the following Sunday.
The Wildcats, who host Widnes and visit Salford in their final remaining games, will be keen to maintain their impressive run of form against third-placed Saints but Agar knows they face a difficult task.
“I definitely think Sunday’s match is potentially the most difficult one we’ve got left and that’s not being disrespectful to anyone else,” he said.
“I know Saints lost to Warrington last Monday but they are in good form and they possess so many good individuals. They are playing with a smile on their faces and with a lot of confidence and they’ve a lot of people with explosive qualities about them.
“They are a team that play lightning quick if you let them and it’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”
Agar played down his side’s play-off chances, adding: “I think we are a long shot. I think we’d have to win every game and results would have to go our way as well but I think it’s nice at this stage that all of a sudden we are getting talked about that we have a chance.
“If we get anywhere near the play-offs after a tough start I think we can look on our season with some satisfaction that we’ve made some progress.”
Agar will be looking for another strong defensive show against Saints. The Wildcats conceded just two tries in Sunday’s 40-12 win at Castleford.
“I think the most pleasing thing over the last three weeks has probably been our defence,” he continued.
“I thought last weekend we started the game with a lot of vigour and we defended really strongly and dominated field position. I am really pleased with the way we have been travelling over the last few weeks.”
Danny Cowling, who has been on dual registration at Championship One club Doncaster, will replace suspended centre Dean Collis on Sunday.
Collis is the third Wildcats player to be suspended in the past fortnight, with Oliver Wilkes and Ali Lauitiiti also serving one-match bans.
Wilkes could return in place of Matt James who is doubtful with a calf injury
“We are not going to tinker too much. We are going to give Danny Cowling a start at right centre. It would have been him or Liam Kaye but Liam is injured,” said Agar
“I thought Matt James performed really well at Castleford but he pulled his calf in literally the last minute of training on Thursday so he could well be a doubt.”
The Wildcats boss had no complaints about the one-match ban handed to Collis for a dangerous throw on Castleford’s Stuart Jones in last weekend’s derby match.
He said: “I am not surprised Dean Collis got a game. It certainly wasn’t a malicious tackle - it was just a bit careless. He let go of the player and he fell in a dangerous position. “
See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest Wakefield Trinity Wildcats news.