Wakefield v Widnes: Wildcats' solid defence was key to victory
Last Updated: July 23, 2013 8:26am
Agar: showed ability to adapt, says Stevo
Stevo believes Wakefield's ability to neuter Jon Clarke and Kevin Brown was crucial in their 24-14 victory over Widnes on Monday night.
The Wildcats recorded a fourth win on the spin in the Sky Live encounter at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium and now lie just a point shy of the play-off spots with a game in hand.
Sky Sports pundit Stevo hailed the West Yorkshire outfit's defensive sturdiness following their triumph over the Vikings, while he also praised Wakefield coach Richard Agar for the way he rallied his troops after Paul Sykes and Dean Collis left the field injured.
Wildcats claw Vikings
"Richard wanted a better performance but the one thing he will be happy with is that his side shut down the Widnes mainstays, Jon Clarke and Kevin Brown," said the former Dewsbury and Penrith player.
"Those players can hurt you with ball in hand but Wakefield's defence was very solid - and to be able to adapt when two of your major players leave the field of play shows you that Agar is a very good coach."
Widnes' defeat was their sixth in eight Super League encounters - leaving the Vikings in 11th place in the top-flight table - and Stevo feels Denis Betts' side let themselves down with their kicking game at Wakefield.
"You have to apply pressure and get in a good position on the field to win games and Widnes didn't do that."
However, ex-Widnes prop Barrie McDermott reckons the Cheshire team, who finished rock bottom of Super League last term in their first season back in the division, can take plenty of positives from their loss on Monday evening.
But the Boots 'n' All regular - who also played for Wigan and Leeds - says his former employers must fix "the little one per cents" if they are to end the campaign on a high.
Stevo said: "Tim Smith's tactical kicking for Wakefield was excellent but Widnes' was not; you have to apply pressure, turn your opposition around and get in a good position on the field to win games and they didn't do that."
Barrie added: "It is not all doom and gloom for Widnes and that left edge, where all the tries came from, is good - but they need to be better on the little one per cents, because these penalties, knock-ons and missed tackles aren't good enough."