Wakefield coach Brian Smith has acknowledged that his players still have plenty of lessons to learn, after their 32-6 defeat in a friendly at Castleford at the weekend.
Smith is optimistic, however, that his team will have taken much from a tough game on a testing surface.
“It’s probably timely for us, to recognise that when we play a good team like that at home, we need to be close to our best,” Smith told reporters after the game.
“I thought we were well off that today.
“We were comprehensively outplayed. For substantial parts of the game, we did okay, but okay is not good enough.
“We’ve got to get into the area of some sort of domination, and whenever we had that today we managed to kick the ball dead.
“On a small size pitch like that, once you let the pressure off, let go of the arm wrestle, and let them out as easily as we did, it was just open invitation for them to use their skills and play as they do.
“They’re a good team.”
Smith also pointed out the differences in preparation for the game between the two teams, with Castleford recently enjoying some warm weather training in Lanzarote.
The focus has been somewhat different for Wakefield, who have remained in Yorkshire for their pre-season preparations.
“All I know is that Cas have been in Spain at some sort of camp for the last little while,” Smith added.
“We’ve been pulling and punching our players to get them in a fit state for the start of the season.
“I wasn’t expecting us to be at our best today, because that’s not what we were trying to do.
“We did want to get a gauge on where we’re at fitness-wise, but they might have been a bit freshened up and bit sharper than we were.
“If that’s a result of their camp, well, it paid dividends for them short-term, but there’s longer term benefits that I’m hoping our guys will get out of game like that.”