WAKEFIELD’S season has mirrored that of the Giants.
The Wildcats started their campaign in a blaze of glory with an opening-day win at Wigan Warriors and were part of the leading Super League pack in the opening two months.
But over the past month, the form of coach John Kear’s side has dipped significantly and they entertain the Giants this weekend on the back of four straight defeats – twice to Wigan in the League and Cup, against Bradford Bulls as part of the Magic Weekend and at Harlequins last Sunday.
Wakefield’s last win was a 21-14 triumph at Hull FC on April 17 when scrum half Danny Brough was once again the star of the show.
But with Brough and prop Danny Sculthorpe suspended this week for disciplinary matters, the Wildcats are lacking two key men for what is always a keenly-contested encounter.
JASON DEMETRIOU, Wakefield’s captain and inspirational leader, has epitomised the Wildcats’ spirit for the last five years.
He was the club’s Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 and was also named in the engage Super League Dream Team of 2007.
His English career included spells at Lancashire Lynx and Rochdale Hornets before he made a name for himself during a two-year stint with Widnes Vikings.
A rugged and skilful centre, he can also play loose-forward or full-back.
This year he will wear the No8 shirt in memory of late teammate Adam Watene.
KNOWN as a Challenge Cup expert after guiding Sheffield and Hull to shock wins in 1998 and 2005 respectively, Wakefield’s Jon Kear has an outstanding coaching reputation.
He consistently gets the best out of players and builds a camaraderie and commitment within his squad that proves invaluable in the unforgiving world of Super League.
A former head coach at the Giants, Bramley and Paris St Germain, it was at Sheffield Eagles where Kear shot to prominence.
He took over at the Don Valley in 1997 and the following season masterminded arguably the biggest ever Cup final upset when the Eagles stunned red-hot favourites Wigan at Wembley.
As England coach he led his country to the RL World Cup semi-finals in 2000 and took over at the Wildcats in 2006, rescuing the club from relegation by defeating Castleford in their final game of the season.