Old school lessons from Agar help Wildcats toughen up for Hull KR

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats head coach Richard Agar ditched the modern teachings of sports science this week in order to give his embarrassed players a much-needed reality check.

They entertain Hull KR tomorrow evening desperate to right the wrongs of a horrendous 40-6 opening loss at Bradford.

Agar lambasted his pack particularly for being too soft, bemoaning a lack of physicality in the tackle, something his coaching staff addressed with an old-style approach.

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“We had what you’d term an ‘attitude’ session,” he said.

“There was snow on the pitch, standing water and plenty of mud. We just asked the boys to rip in and get that right level of desire that’s required to take part in that area of the contest.

“We trained two days after the game, which is not the time we’d necessarily throw the suits on them and do that type of session.

“All the sports science could have gone out of the window this week but we felt we needed to get that in because it’s exactly what we required of this group.

“They responded well but the acid test will come on Saturday against a Hull KR team with very big, strong ball-carriers themselves.”

Agar, who welcomes back reliable prop Andy Raleigh for some added steel, was pleased to see his players were equally as seething with themselves.

“The queue at my door post-review this week was as long as it’s ever been in my time here,” he said. “For some it was tackle technique or the wrong tackle selection but, for some of the problems, the answers aren’t going to come from me. They’re going to come from them.

“We had some individuals sticking their hands up saying it won’t happen again and others wanted to work a little harder on extras which is a great sign; it shows players genuinely do care and I’d be worried if that wasn’t the case.

“They’re a group of players who have proven many times they can perform and do so very well.

“There’s a general feeling we’re going to do something about it.

“But Hull KR are probably feeling similar to us – though not as much – after being outmuscled by a very physical and ruthlessly efficient Catalan side.”