Wakefield Wildcats head coach Richard Agar says his men need to start taking the scalps of Super League’s top teams if they are to reach the play-offs this season.
Wildcats welcome fifth-placed Catalans Dragons to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 5.05pm) and will be looking for a first win of the season against a side positioned in the top-eight.
Wakefield’s four league wins have come against sides - Hull KR, London Broncos, Castleford Tigers and Widnes Vikings - all outside the play-offs.
Agar’s men have gone close against top-eight teams this season, including Catalans and Huddersfield Giants, but the Wildcats boss knows his side need to start turning those close calls into two points.
“We have pushed a few close and undoubtedly getting over the line, particularly in home games, is going to be important from here on in,” he said.
“We know the a couple of times, Catalans away and Huddersfield at home in particular, have been close games.
“We were disappointed with our performances against Salford and Hull so being able to take a couple of scalps at home is going to be important for us, and this would be one.”
Wildcats will target a third win on the spin in all competitions for the first time this year but Agar is well aware of the strength of the Catalans side.
“We know what a tough proposition they are,” he said.
“They’ve got one or two injury problems as well but the positives they they’ll take out of that is the emergence and the form of one or two of the younger French players, some less heralded players coming up and doing well for them.”
Justin Poore is set to return to action after missing last Friday’s win at Widnes Vikings.
The Australian did not risk a niggling knee injury on the Widnes ‘i-pitch’ but is set for a return against the French side.
Richard Mathers is Wakefield’s only senior player missing with an ankle injury but he could return for next Friday’s Challenge Cup tie at Hull FC.
Wildcats: Fox, Collis, L Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T Smith, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Wood, Amor, Wilkes, Mellars, Lyne, Annakin, Molloy.