Super League: James Webster hoping to keep Tim Smith at Wakefield Wildcats
Last Updated: 01/09/14 10:01am
Wakefield coach James Webster is desperately hoping a permanent deal for Tim Smith can secured after the scrum-half helped destroy Salford Red Devils and keep the Wildcats' slender Super League play-off hopes alive.
The 29-year-old Australian, who joined Wakefield from Salford on loan in June, was allowed to line up against his paymasters and repaid their generosity with a hand in five of his side's eight tries to condemn the Red Devils to a 42-6 defeat and finally end their top-eight bid.
Wakefield ran in tries through Andy Raleigh, Danny Washbrook and Chris Riley inside the first quarter to lead 16-0 and, after a try early in the second half by Harrison Hansen briefly suggested a Salford fightback, went on to run riot in the final quarter, with winger Richard Owen scoring two tries.
We did some good business by getting Tim when we did and hopefully that can continue. Salford haven't said 'no'. I know Tim would like to stay.
Webster on Smith
"Tim was outstanding," Webster said. "He is the heart and soul of our side and, when he's the main man, he just creates so much space and time in our team. It's no coincidence that we've improved a lot since Tim came.
"We did some good business by getting Tim when we did and hopefully that can continue
"Salford haven't said 'no'. I know Tim would like to stay. He's got nothing against Salford but he enjoys playing here. It's getting to the stage where it needs to get done."
"Our home form has been outstanding," added Webster, who side have suffered just one defeat at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium in his seven matches in charge. "I thought our boys turned up in a great state of mind.
"Salford have been going great guns over the last two months and we knew we had to play well to win.
"We had a late setback when Danny Kirmond pulled out at the last minute and we had a bit of a re-shuffle but I thought there were some outstanding contributors in a team that played well.
We came up against a side that hit harder and ran harder than us. You can break the game down as technically as you want, but if you have a team that wants it more than you, you are going to come up second best.
"Paul Sykes was outstanding in a position he hasn't played for a long time and for Pita Godinet to come back after seven weeks out and put in a performance like that when he hasn't played six all year was tremendous.
"All our middles handled things well and, to shut Salford out to six points with all the attacking threat and pace in their side was outstanding."
Wakefield remain four points behind eighth-placed Widnes with two games left of the regular season and Webster believes his side's inferior points difference could mean them missing out on the play-offs.
The defeat meant disappointment for chairman Marwan Koukash, who had demanded a top-six finish this year, and coach Iestyn Harris branded his side's performance as "not acceptable".
"It was a big game for us, a big game for the club," Harris said. "The game is about attitude and a want and a desire and we didn't have that. We'll get to bottom of that.
"We came up against a side that hit harder and ran harder than us. You can break the game down as technically as you want, but if you have a team that wants it more than you, you are going to come up second best.
"We didn't turn up and you can't do that playing in a Salford shirt any more. There is accountability for representing Salford and we completely fell below that today. It's about us fixing that in the last two games of the season because it's not acceptable."