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."

PA

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?