Wakefield look for play-off spot


Rejuvenated Wakefield aim to make it a three-year best and keep alive their outside hopes of a top-eight finish in Super League when they host St Helens tomorrow.

Successive wins over Huddersfield, Leeds and Castleford have given the Wildcats the sniff of a play-off spot and a fourth consecutive victory tomorrow would take them to within a point of eighth-placed Hull KR, their opponents next weekend.

It would be Wakefield's best run since they won five league games in a row under John Kear in 2009 and, with fixtures against Widnes and Salford to come, they have a chance to end Richard Agar's first season on a glorious high.

"I think we are a long shot," Agar said of his side's play-off prospects.

"I think we'd have to win every game and results would have to go our way as well but it's nice at this stage that all of a sudden we are getting talked about that we have a chance.

"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.

"I know Saints lost to Warrington last Monday but they are in good form and they possess so many good individuals. It's going to be a huge challenge for us."

St Helens' hopes of a top-two finish were dashed by Monday's 22-12 defeat at Warrington and they are facing competition from Catalan Dragons and Leeds for third spot but hooker James Roby is convinced they can quickly get back to winning ways.

"We don't become a bad team overnight," he said.

"Over the last couple of months we have played really well and knocked off wins in a row. We know what we are capable of.

"We have to get back to winning ways and put this one down to being off our game. There are four rounds before the play-offs and we want to do as well as we can."

Catalan aim to keep the pressure on Saints when they take on a depleted Hull at the KC Stadium, where they will be seeking to complete the double following their recent 44-14 win in Perpignan.

Already without a host of regulars through injury, Hull have lost Joe Westerman to suspension and coach Peter Gentle will give late fitness tests to a host of un-named players before kick-off, not that he is looking to make excuses.

"We are all over the shop at the moment, including with our team selection, but it's been individuals not respecting the ball enough that has cost us," Gentle said.

"We need to find some consistency in what we are doing. Our completion rate simply hasn't been good enough.

"You can be the best defensive team in the competition, but with the amount of possession we are gifting teams, it's very hard to be consistently good in defence.

"Catalan are a big physical side so it's a fair challenge. But, if we can match them in the middle, we can go a long way towards getting the points.

"If we don't control the middle, Scott Dureau can play on the front foot and saw in France what happens when he does."

In tomorrow's other game London Broncos can lift themselves off the foot of the table if they win at Castleford to make it back-to-back wins for the first time this year.

The Broncos staged the biggest comeback in Super League history to defeat Salford 40-28 last week and give interim boss Tony Rea his first win and he is confident they can end an 18-month wait for an away win.

"We've had an extended week at training with an extra day in the turn-around which has been helpful," he said.

"We've got some good miles done in preparation for getting to the start line."


Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little