Super League: Richard Agar pays tribute to Ben Cockayne
Last Updated: 10/02/13 10:22am
Richard Agar: welcome win after opening round defeat
Wakefield coach Richard Agar said Hull KR fans would be cursing former player Ben Cockayne after his hat-trick heroics condemned his old club to a 36-20 defeat at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
Cockayne, who was sacked by Rovers in 2011 following a series of disciplinary breaches, struck with the last three tries of the match to end a brave fightback by his old team-mates.
"Hull KR fans are appreciative of Ben Cockayne and I think it's great that opposing fans respect players who have given their all for the club," Agar said.
"That's a great tribute to the Hull KR fans but I am sure they will be cursing him a bit tonight."
Agar had labelled the performance of his team in last week's season-opening 40-6 defeat at Bradford as the worst since he took charge, but they looked a different team following the return from injury of 2012 player of the year Tim Smith and ever-reliable prop Andy Raleigh.
"I thought they made a big difference to the team," Agar said. "Timmy is a player who, if you give him a bit of a platform, can come up with some good plays.
Cockayne hat-trick hero
"It will do us good to get that win in front of our own fans. We showed we can be a really competitive team if we get certain elements of our game in order.
"We controlled the ruck really well and I thought it would tell late in the game."
Already without six members of their senior squad, Rovers lost makeshift stand-off Lincoln Withers in the very first tackle of the match.
The game was held up for four and a half minutes to enable Withers to receive treatment for a head injury - the result of a clash with Wakefield prop Justin Poore.
"He's gone to hospital," Rovers coach Craig Sandercock said. "He's in a pretty bad way and obviously my thoughts are with Lincoln and his family.
"Hull KR fans are appreciative of Ben Cockayne and I think it's great that opposing fans respect players who have given their all for the club. That's a great tribute to the Hull KR fans but I am sure they will be cursing him a bit tonight."
"He was knocked out cold and I'm led to believe he had quite a big head gash as well. That's all we've got at this stage. I need to get a thorough report on him."
The Robins, who were forced to re-shuffle their team, had looked down and out after trailing 18-0 and 24-10, but clawed their way back to within four points until Cockayne's late scoring burst.
They conceded 18 points while down to 12 men with Graeme Horne in the sin-bin and Sandercock admitted his side needed to improve their discipline.
"We got ourselves in a position to win that game," he said. "But we conceded a few penalties on the run and a couple of crucial decisions went against us.
"In the end Wakefield were too good and deserved to win. We need to make sure we are more disciplined. We are giving away too many penalties.
"If we get an ounce of luck and if we are more disciplined, we have a semblance of a good footy team."