Mark Applegarth reveals Super League signing played with flu and calls for Wakefield Trinity to play with more discipline following Featherstone Rovers win

WAKEFIELD TRINITY came back from 12 points down at half-time to inflict Featherstone Rovers’ first defeat of pre-season in a 24-12 result.

Tries from Eddie Battye, Renouf Atoni, Corey Hall and Max Jowitt were enough for Mark Applegarth’s side to register victory, but the Wakefield boss knows his side needs to improve on a dismal first-half showing.

“It was exactly what we needed, Featherstone dominated us in that first-half in terms of ball in hand. I think we had two plays in their 20 instead of their 22 and our tackle management was bang average,” Applegarth told League Express.

“We spoke about a few things in the second-half and it showed and we did exactly what we should have done in that first-half and it showed to score 24 unanswered points.

“It’s exactly what we needed from a pre-season friendly and I’m sure Featherstone will say exactly the same.”

Just why Wakefield played so badly in that first-half, Applegarth gave Rovers a lot of credit.

“You’ve got to give credit to Featherstone because I think they will cause quite a few teams a lot of trouble.

“You can’t afford to not be 100%. Our first contacts in that first-half weren’t where we needed the to be or where we will accept them to be. You play a good team and get punished for it.

“In saying that, I thought our try-line defence was good. They scored from two kicks; to have 22 plays on your own try-line, I think we showed some good scrambles but you can’t let teams get up to your end that easily. We’ve got to sort out our discipline.”

Applegarth also believes that the Championship will be one of the most competitive he’s ever seen, hailing Sean Long and Leon Pryce for their impact on Featherstone.

“There are some great teams in there, I think Sean and Leon have a done cracking job,” Applegarth continued.

“They are a dangerous team and we knew they would be dangerous. I was pleased with the character we’ve shown, going back 12 months we wouldn’t have had that character.

“It was a great lesson for us and going against a bit of adversity, they will be a tough team to beat in the Championship.”

The Wakefield boss is, however, counting the cost of a potential injury to hooker Liam Hood whilst Sam Eseh went off with concussion and Kevin Proctor played with the flu.

“Big Sam took a head knock and he will be out for a minimum of nine days but we won’t take any chances of that.

“Hoody (Liam Hood) has got a scan tomorrow, the initial diagnosis is structurally he looks alright but we will wait for a scan.

“Kevin (Proctor) rang me this morning saying he was ill and I told him he didn’t have to play, but he wanted to go out there.”