Willie Poching “immensely proud” of his Wakefield players after win at Hull KR

Joe Westerman of Wakefield during the game
Wakefield interim head coach Willie Poching paid tribute to his leaders on the field after they did the double over Hull KR with a 25-18 Betfred Super League win at Craven Park.

Poching singled out props Joe Westerman and Kelepi Tanginoa and stand-off Jacob Miller as the visitors put a big dent in Rovers’ play-off hopes.

Rovers dropped out of the top six following their loss to Wakefield and Castleford’s 23-12 win across the city.

Wakefield’s tries came from Miller, Ryan Hampshire, Innes Senior and Jay Pitts, with Mason Lino converting all four and Miller adding a late drop-goal.

Rovers crossed through Luis Johnson, George Lawler and Ben Crooks, with Crooks converting two and also kicking a penalty.

Poching said: “(I am) immensely proud. When we went down 10-0 and the momentum went against us, we showed resilience and discipline to stick to our plan.

“I thought it was a real solid team performance tonight. There was some great work from our leaders (on the field).

“Joe Westerman and Jacob Miller were enormous for us, their leadership and how they got us around the park.

“I thought Kelepi Tanginoa was a man mountain for us when the game seemed to be going away.”

The Wakefield boss said a slow start had not cost his side the game.

He said: “We just weren’t quite aggressive enough. They were getting some real dangerous offloads on us which was causing us some chaos. It wasn’t just the penalties and the errors, it was when we were giving them up.

“There was a period when we had to do 21 tackles in a row and it was showing.”

Poching admitted that scoring two tries in the space of a couple of second-half minutes made a big difference to his side.

He said: “It was still some way out from the end but it gave us a massive boost of confidence.

“The real confidence comes off when they get the reward for it. Jay Pitts got his try, it was a training ground move but a real confidence booster.”

REPORT: Hull KR 18-25 Wakefield: Trinity hand out blow to Rovers play-off hopes

Rovers head coach Tony Smith admitted Wakefield had that little bit extra to win the game which his side lacked on the night.

Smith said: “I just thought they out-enthused us tonight. It wasn’t for lack of effort or trying. When we went up 10-0 I still felt even at that time that they were a bit sharper than us.

“Good that we showed some spirit to fight back. Unfortunately we let the game get out of our own control through a few errors.

“Even in that first period where we were scoring points, I just saw some signs in us where we were not as sharp as we normally are.

“We were able to get in a couple of positions where we scored but the start didn’t fill me with confidence that we were as silky smooth as we can be.

“I spend most of my waking hours watching these people and talking to these people so I get to sense (when something is not right). I could see quite a few of them not on the balls of their feet as they say in other sports.

“It’s not unusual after derbies that teams go flat and some of the rugby league goes flat. We’ve got a game on Monday (at Huddersfield), it may not be spectacular-looking rugby league but we certainly want to get out there and show what we can do.”

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