COACH CHRIS Chester was far from dismayed after his Wakefield Trinity side began their Betfred Super League campaign with a 12-8 home defeat by Hull.
On a muddy pitch and in driving rain, Trinity trailed 6-2 at the break, but went two points ahead early in the second half before conceding the decisive try with 12 minutes left.
“I was happy with the effort and proud of the performance,” said Chester, whose men almost snatched an equalising touchdown in the final minute.
“It was a tough day for everybody involved and there was very little between the two teams.”
There were very few clear-cut chances, but Chester insisted: “I think both teams need commending.
“Completion rates were around 75-76 per cent and in those atrocious conditions it’s tough.
“It was two physical teams and there were two tries off kicks. We are obviously disappointed we conceded late on, but we just need to be a little bit smarter in the ruck.”
Chester said he “learned a lot about my players”, despite the conditions.
“This time last year that would probably have been a 20-30 point defeat after they went in front,” he said.
“But they had that grind mentality today. They wanted to try and grind a win out.
“We just came up a bit short, but I was happy with the performance and happy with the effort, just disappointed with the way it finished. Fair play to Hull, they played well, but we more than matched them.”
Chester felt the loss of second-rower Matty Ashurst to concussion, just before Hull’s winning try, was the turning point.
“It was nothing deliberate, but I thought it was a bit of a high shot and should have been penalised,” he said of the challenge on Ashurst.
“We gave a penalty away and then they went and scored off a kick so it was a big turning point, but we needed to defend that kick a bit better.
“We gave Marc Sneyd too much time on the ball and failed to pressure him.”
Trinity were reduced to just 16 fit players after prop Anthony England suffered a head injury inside the opening three minutes.