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Super League: Wakefield coach James Webster delighted as Wildcats win again
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Coach James Webster refused to take the credit after his Wakefield side maintained their unbeaten run under him to boost their First Utility Super League playoff hopes.
A nail-biting 12-10 success over Widnes enabled the Wildcats to make it four wins and a draw from their last five outings to close to within two points of the eighth-placed Vikings with seven matches matches left of the regular season.
Wakefield trailed only 4-0 at half-time despite spending most of the first period inside their own half and then hit the visitors with two tries in five minutes through Tim Smith and Nick Scruton.
"The amount of defence we had to do in the first half was unbelievable," said Webster, who succeeded Richard Agar as head coach six weeks ago. "It was no different to what we had to do against Hull and at times against Leeds.
"Yet again the boys have found a way. My press conferences are pretty boring at the moment because I'm repeating myself every week. They're trying ridiculously hard and are playing hard for each other.
"That's not me - it's them. They've a commitment to each other to get out there and work hard for each other. The proof is in the puddling - they got the result yet again."
The pivotal moment came when Wakefield centre Jimmy Keinhorst raced back to stop Widnes winger Patrick Ah Van just short of the tryline early in the second half after he had intercepted Smith's pass to sprint 80 metres upfield.
"We had no right to stop that try - they had every right to score there – and that was the turning point of the game," Webster added.
Betts bemoans decisions
Widnes gave themselves renewed hope when centre Stefan Marsh went over for their second try and Ah Van went close in the final minute to snatching what coach Denis Betts believes would have been a deserved victory.
Betts insists that Smith's try should have been disallowed because Wakefield prop Richard Moore was offside when he made the tackle that forced Alex Gerrard to spill a crucial pass near his own line.
"He was three metres offside but the referee never checked it and that's the consistency in the game," Betts said. "I'm sat here frustrated because it was a game we should have won."
The Vikings have now won just one of their last eight matches and will fall out of the play-off places on Friday night if Hull KR beat Leeds, but Betts is not concerned about his team's form.
"I know we keep falling over but I honestly believe we're falling forward," he said. "We've played particularly well in the last two weeks - we just haven't got anything on the board to show for it, which is what it's all about."
After having home advantage throughout their purple patch, Wakefield must take their improved form on their travels if they are to reach the top eight, and Webster admits they will need to up their game.
"Effort gives you a chance of winning games but sometimes you have to be smarter.than that," he said. "We have somehow got to keep up that level of effort and come up with a bit better footy on top of it."
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
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