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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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First Utility Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||3||2|
|10||Salford Red Devils||3||2|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield Wildcats vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th March|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Hull K R|
|Thursday 12th March|
|20:00||Huddersfield vs Castleford|
|Friday 13th March|
|20:00||Warrington vs Leeds|
|20:00||Wigan vs Hull|
|20:00||Widnes Vikings vs St Helens|
|First Utility Super League|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Widnes Vikings 58 - 16 Wakefield Wildcats|
|Hull K R 22 - 20 Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Salford Red Devils 32 - 28 Hull FC|
|Catalans Dragons 38 - 18 Warrington Wolves|
|Friday 27th February|
|St Helens 21 - 14 Castleford Tigers|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
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