Cats in confident mood
No excuses from Reds after ground-switch
Last Updated: 08/09/12 9:27pm
Richard Agar: seven straight wins
Wakefield coach Richard Agar says his side will go to Leeds with confidence after ending their regular Super League campaign with a best-ever run of seven straight wins thanks to a 42-34 triumph over Salford.
Bradford's defeat by Catalan Dragons earlier in the day guaranteed the Wildcats' place in the play-offs and Agar was delighted with his players' response.
Agar said: "It feels great. We obviously got the news about Bradford before the game so it was something we addressed with the boys.
"We said our season starts again from tonight and I thought our first-half performance reflected that. I thought we went out and did a really good job on them.
"To concede like we did at the end was incredibly disappointing and it's taken the shine off what was for 70 minutes a real solid and competent display with some well-executed and well-taken tries.
"There are some individuals who have really let the team down in the last 10 minutes. I thought they were extremely soft."
Agar took the opportunity to rest second rower Ali Lauitiiti ahead of his return to Headingley after he complained of a migraine before kick-off but the Kiwi was hardly needed as a Tim Smith-inspired Wakefield eased to a seven-try victory.
The Wildcats have accounted for reigning champions Leeds during their recent winning run and Agar believes they can pull off a shock at Headingley next Saturday.
"There's no better side for getting to Grand Finals," Agar said. "They're the masters, they know how to get the job done, so it will be a huge challenge for us but there is no pressure on us.
"We can go there with some confidence, knowing we've had a couple of really good games with them already this year."
Agar singled out Smith and his half-back partner Paul Sykes for particular praise.
"I thought both our half-backs were outstanding," he said. "Tim's smart around the field and he's probably the best passer of the ball in the game.
"He is in good form at the moment and playing with terrific confidence."
The Reds were forced to concede home advantage by switching the game from the City of Salford Stadium to Leigh Sports Village because of a clash with co-tenants Sale but coach Phil Veivers refused to use it as an excuse for a seventh consecutive defeat.
"There was a spell in the first half when for 10 sets we didn't have the ball and that's probably what killed us," he said.
"That put us 18-0 down and the one on half-time was probably even more crucial."
Salford had five players making their farewell appearances and Veivers says new investment is imperative to enable him to rebuild the team.
"We're desperate for it," he said. "There's some bodies that we need to bring in.
"We're losing our one, six and seven and that's the spine of your team. It would be great to try and fill these empty positions."