Wakefield coach Richard Agar was delighted with his team's staying power as they held on for a 32-26 victory over Castleford in the opening match of Stobart Super League's Magic Weekend at Manchester's Etihad Stadium.
Agar was scathing of his team after they conceded 30 points without reply in the second half of their previous game to go down 42-12 at home to Warrington, but was full of praise today as they held off a spirited Tigers fightback in energy-sapping conditions.
Castleford thought they had snatched the points in a dramatic finish when substitute forward Nathan Massey went over three minutes from the end but the try was disallowed by video referee James Child for offside and Wakefield scrum-half Tim Smith then clinched the points for his side with his second try for the club.
"It's a great way to start the weekend's festivities," said Agar. "There was only a score in it and there was some high drama at the end so hopefully we've warmed everybody up.
"It wouldn't surprise me if there were a lot of high-scoring games this weekend, looking at the track and if the weather stays like this.
"I think in conditions like this, a little bit of football goes out of the window and it becomes very attritional.
"The pleasing thing for me is that we've been under the cosh but we've managed to defend our line when it matters most.
"We were a bit worried if that try had been allowed how we might have come back from it but it was rightly ruled out."
Agar was delighted with Smith's match-winning score but even more pleased with the whole-hearted efforts of hooker Paul Aiton.
"Smithy's a smart player," he said. "Sometimes it's hard as a half-back when your team is lacking a bit of go-forward and momentum. But he came up with big play for us when it really mattered.
"We were genuinely concerned that we might run out of interchanges.
"Some of our middle guys were really struggling but Paul Aiton has played 80 minutes and I thought, given the conditions, his size and what came his way today, it was one of toughest displays I've ever seen."
Castleford were aiming for redemption following their Super League record 70-12 humiliation at Hull KR, after which they issued a public apology, and their battling efforts will have done much to restore pride.
Coach Ian Millward was thrilled with the performance of his forwards but highly critical of his team's outside backs.
"I thought our pack of forwards was outstanding," he said. "Unfortunately our outside backs couldn't compliment them.
"I really feel for our forwards today, they put in a really good shift.
"Everyone wants to play with a pack that are tough and uncompromising and get you forward and we had that today. Our outside people can't complain.
"There were too many one-on-one tries. Sometimes you'd like to call time out and put them all in the forwards and let them see what it's like to play there.
"I'm glad we got back on the horse today but that improvement should have been enough to win a game. I'd rather be winning than talking about our improvement."