Wakefield Trinity head coach Mark Applegarth believed Will Dagger showed signs of a ‘top quality’ player following his game-winning drop goal in the 27-26 victory over Wigan.
The Belle Vue outfit claimed their third win of the season following the dramatic golden point extra time triumph over Matt Peet’s Warriors, reducing the gap at the bottom to just two points away from Castleford Tigers.
Dagger produced the match-winning drop goal with his left foot on the 83rd minute to clinch the victory, converting all four tries and taking the game into golden point with an 80th minute penalty conversion.
The 24-year-old made the move to Applegarth’s squad earlier in March in a swap deal with Corey Hall, with the rising centre joining Hull KR on a contract until the end of 2025.
Dagger has since made 12 appearances for Wakefield, scoring three tries and kicking 26 goals with now three wins behind them in their bid to ensure Super League safety.
Wakefield boss praises ‘top quality’ Will Dagger
“He’s got some tremendous skills and he’s real deep-thinker,” Applegarth said on Dagger following the win.
“He was beating himself up with some of the kicks he’d done earlier in the game and how he responded is a sign of a top quality player.
“They were all outstanding but how he handed the situation is really top-class.”
Applegarth insists once more that his side won’t get carried away with the victory, with the result even more so impressive doing it without the likes of Luke Gale, Kelepi Tanginoa and Morgan Smith, with the latter ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing foot surgery.
Wakefield’s first win of the season came over Leeds in June, while they claimed a 32-6 win over Paul Rowley’s Salford Red Devils in Round 17.
Last Friday’s win over Wigan marked the side’s third win in their last four fixtures, with a trip to the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield next up this Friday.
“We’ve still got a lot of hard work to do.”
“I’ve had a back spasm all week and I forgot about it for 10 seconds, and now I can hardly sit up straight,” laughed Applegarth.
“Sport’s all about emotion and you’re talking a minute’s difference between sitting with your head in your hands or celebrating like I did there. It’s important that you show your emotions and you celebrate these wins.
“We surf our own wave and nothing changes from us.
“We will enjoy a good win but we will work as hard as ever on focusing on what we need to do and putting in a good performance against Huddersfield.
“It’s pointless putting in performances like that and getting carried away with yourselves and getting caught again.
“We’re definitely humble enough to know that we’ve still got a lot of hard work to do.”