Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Trinity: Dave Fifita says it’s time to turn Easter derby tide
BIG DAVE Fifita says Wakefield Trinity want to scratch a painful and persistent itch when they make the short trip to Castleford Tigers tomorrow.
Trinity have not beaten their near-neighbours since a shock 24-22 result at the Jungle in the opening game of 2015 – a season in which they went on to finish bottom of the table before avoiding relegation with victory in the Million Pound Game.
Of the 17 who played for Wakefield that day only Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Danny Kirmond and Chris Annakin are still at the club.
“There’s a few of us who have never beaten them,” Fifita – who joined Wakefield in 2016 – said of tomorrow’sopponents.
“We did talk about it at training.
“I haven’t beaten them and most of the team haven’t – and I know [coach] Chris Chester is hating it as well.
“He wants to hurry up and get it over with so it’s about time we beat them.
“We might have lost some key players, but we have got the squad to fill in great for those positions.”
There seems to be little to choose between the sides tomorrow as Trinity have improved after a slow start to the campaign while Tigers’ season has gone the other way.
Wakefield are fourth in the Betfred Super League table, level on points with third-placed Castleford who have an advantage of just two on for and against.
Recent games between the teams have been competitive, despite the lopsided results and Fifita – who signed a new three-year contract on Tuesday – added: “We want to turn it around.
“I think things are different this year and we are tighter as a group.
“I think we are going into this game full of confidence.”
Fifita will be crucial to Trinity’s hopes of ending their long wait for a win over Tigers tomorrow evening.
Both sides have been ravaged by injury, but the Australia-born Tongan international has been playing long minutes as well as scoring – and setting up – tries.
His sensational spell of form has lifted the giant forward top of the voting for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award.
But the prop forward insisted: “I know I am not in there for the long run!
“I am just happy to be playing good footy and it’s a great year [to do it], coming off contract and stuff like that.
“It’s a good position I am in.
“It is a goal of mine just to make a name for myself ... and I think I’m doing it ... so it’s great.”
Fifita reckons he is not yet at his peak.
“Last year I had a few niggling injuries and stuff like that,” he recalled.
“It was in my head a bit, the groin issues and things like that.
“I still don’t think I have reached my full potential this year. I think there’s a bit more [to come].
“I am still doing all the re-hab for the groin and I think there’s another step forward, going forward with the boys, but it has been a cracker of a year so far and I just hope I can keep going on with it.”