FOR some onlookers, it might appear that Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ marvellous renaissance is already over but captain Danny Kirmond maintains their recent below-par form will cause no panic for those inside Belle Vue.
He was speaking after Thursday’s substantial 54-16 home defeat to Hull KR, their biggest loss in almost 12 months and one that has suddenly raised some question marks about Chris Chester’s team.
They had been one of the stories of the season since he took over in March, last year’s bottom side winning nine from 10 games to rise to sixth, including taking notable scalps like Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and champions Leeds Rhinos.
However, after the heavy defeat against Rovers, the club that sacked him earlier this season, Trinity have lost successive fixtures for the first time during his reign.
That should not be too concerning but, given they also conceded a hefty 38 points in the previous defeat to Salford Red Devils, some people might wonder if the good times are finished.
However, Kirmond told The Yorkshire Post: “I think it’s just important not to undo the work we’ve already done this year.
“People do panic a bit early, a lot earlier than they probably need to, but that’s the nature of the game and the nature of the way people support it nowadays.
“But there’s no panic from inside. We’re all disappointed with the last two performances and that’s an important thing – that there is disappointment there and it means a lot to everyone.
“We’ll have to move on quickly. We’ll dust ourselves down after this game and have a pretty honest video review, I’m sure, and learn from what has gone wrong.
“That’s the main thing is to learn from this and I’m sure we will do.”
Do not forget, either, that Trinity were missing some notable players against Hull KR, who have kept alive their own hopes of a top-eight finish with the 10-try win.
Second-row Kirmond served a one-game suspension for a tripping offence against Salford, winger Ben Jones-Bishop was injured in that game, too, while full-back Max Jowitt and prop Anthony England were late withdrawals from the squad.
Furthermore, influential hooker Scott Moore is still banned and Trinity missed his presence up front as they trailed 20-0 after just 20 minutes.
Kirmond admitted: “Rovers were good. We just really never got going in the game and gave them too much of a start.
“Once you do that you expend a lot of energy trying to get back into the game and eventually you just run out of energy.
“I think that’s what you saw at the end of it; if you don’t respect the ball enough in games and do too much work and defending, you concede a lot of points.”
Trinity trailed 26-16 after 55 minutes having recovered from 26-4 down but could not maintain their rate of recovery.
Was it all the more painful for Kirmond, whose yellow card had been critical in their loss the previous week, given he was helpless on the sidelines?
“I’d probably say yes it hurts me more,” said the 30-year-old. “But it always hurts when you have probably played and let yourself and the team down.
“I definitely felt that last week. I felt awful after the game and watching is never nice.
“You can’t really help out too much from the sidelines and, really, it’s just frustrating being suspended for something as silly as a trip.”
He will return, though, for their trip to his former club, Huddersfield Giants, a week on Sunday when England and Jowitt should also be available to bolster Wakefield’s options.
Chester conceded: “We looked a tired team out there. Hull KR were good and they put the game to bed in the first 30 minutes.
“We showed a bit of desire and courage in the second half but we didn’t show any patience in the first 10 or 15 minutes; we wanted to score off every play.
“We need to try and freshen up but there’s no excuses. That’s two poor performances on the bounce but we’re still in there fighting. We’re not too disheartened; we’re still looking up rather than looking down at the teams below us.”