With Wigan Warriors and co fighting for the League Leaders’ Shield and Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils scrapping for play off places, there has been a real battle between Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers for Super League survival.
Castleford took a gigantic step towards safety when they defeated Hull FC and this hurt Wakefield’s chances as they were beaten by Catalans Dragons.
This almost certainly condemns Wakefield to relegation.
After the game Mark Applegarth said on BBC Radio Leeds:
“Yeah, when you’re playing a team who are top four, you can’t leave yourself too much to do and I thought we did that.
“I mean, second half I think we won 10-6, if I remember rightly, but you know, that first half I thought we were just a little bit too ill-disciplined and coughed up the ball.
“I think 30 minutes in we were down at about 50% completion and then we got up to about 70 but yeah it feels like ground hog day in that sense, that effort, application is there but it’s just in smarts again.
“We’ve got two games where you know it’s looking like we’re gonna need Css to slip up but we need to make sure that we win our next two.”
Asked about the mood, he said:
“Dejected, dejected. It’s exactly the same as last week. They know that they shouldn’t be putting that sort of effort in and coming away with a loss. That’s why it’s dejected.
“The toughest part at the moment is they’re not getting a reward for their efforts. So it’s quite easy to fall into that trap of not putting them in.
“As I said how they have gone about the business there for 80 minutes. It’s hard as a coach to knock anyone for that but when you boil it down it is the crucial moments in the game and then fine margins that separate the top of the league such as the Catalan to where we are at the moment at bottom.
“Listen, we’ll be fighting right till the very death. That’s definitely not changing, but yeah, that’s what we’ll be focusing on. Getting recovered tomorrow, looking at the game, even though it’s not going to be a pretty watch in terms of some effort this year and some try,
“I mean there were two tries from kicks and one in open play but then we’ll dust ourself off and get ready for Leigh on Friday night.
“That’s the frustrating thing of it all. I can’t knock anyone for that effort, I really can’t. It’s the smarts and the composure in crucial moments of the game, that’s what I’ll be chasing.”
On the Castleford score:
“You get told, obviously, there’s no hiding away from it. It’s not something I do want to hide away from. As I said, I can’t control it. We could control what we did tonight. But yeah, there’s no hiding away.
“I thought Cas were going into it as slight favourites. Hull haven’t got anything to play for, so I think everyone knew that they were probably going in there.
“We’ve got to win our next two, end of.”