Kirmond’s leadership the key for Trinity coach Agar

captain Danny Kirmond crossed for two tries in Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ hugely encouraging home win over Catalan Dragons to earn praise from coach Richard Agar.

Kirmond, who began his career as a winger at Featherstone Rovers and is now being tipped as a dark horse for England selection in the back-row, touched down in either half as Dragons were put to the sword.

It was Wakefield’s second successive Super League win and their third straight victory after a Challenge Cup romp against part-timers Hemel Stags.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“He is playing very well,” said Agar of the former Huddersfield Giant. “He has certainly risen to the responsibility of captaining the side and we feel he is evolving as that type of leader all the time.

“He is one of those kids you love in your camp. He’s the type of player who will organise the extra bits and those things are vital and precious to your squad.

“I’m talking about stuff away from the field, the team-spirit type things. He has been a big part of what we’ve done here.

“In terms of the leadership role he has embraced it, he works really hard on it and it has added to his game and developed him as a player, knowing he is carrying the responsibility with him.”

Catalan went into the game with a crippling injury list and the early loss of winger Frederic Vaccari added to their problems.

Despite that, they took a 15th-minute lead when former Bradford Bulls stand-off Leon Pryce produced a lovely pass to send in Kevin Larroyer for a try which was converted by Thomas Bosc.

The same combination were to double Catalan’s score in the final quarter, but, by that stage, Wakefield had the game won.

Dean Collis created a try for Peter Fox and then Kirmond opened his account when the defence failed to deal with a kick, Lee Smith converting, adding a penalty and then booting the extras following a try by Ben Cockayne on the stroke of half-time.

Fox added his second off more fine work by Collis and Smith increased the lead with a penalty before namesake Tim’s pass sent Cockayne clear and Kirmond was in support to touch down, with Lee Smith’s fifth goal completing Wakefield’s scoring.

Trinity go into Friday’s Challenge Cup fifth-round tie at Hull in high spirits but Agar says they are still below their best.

“We still feel we’ve got a lot of improving to do,” he said.

“We could have been a bit more ruthless and we did get a bit loose with the ball, but we’ve improved in areas we needed to, certainly in defence.”

Catalan coach Laurent Frayssinous could not hide his disappointment. “I was not happy with our performance, especially with our lack of discipline and how soft we were in the first half,” he said.

“There was a lack of energy, which is not like us. You have to be tough and play hard for your team and that was not the case in the first half.”

Frayssinous admitted the absence of experienced players Scott Dureau, Louis Anderson, Steve Menzies and Olivier Elima is beginning to take its toll on his team.

“The French youngsters have to travel a lot – we spent eight hours travelling yesterday – and it is starting to be tough for the young kids,” he said.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: L Smith, Fox, Collis, Mellars, Cockayne, Wood, T Smith, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Replacements: Amor, Wilkes, Annakin, Agar.

Catalan Dragons: Escare, Blanch, Pala, Dupport, Vaccari, Pryce, Bosc, Simon, Henderson, Casty, Taia, Larroyer, Mounis. Replacements: Pelissier, Fakir, Paea, Baile.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).