Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Trinity: Why Willie Poching's confident of another great escape

Boss Willie Poching says Wakefield Trinity have proved they’ve got what it takes to stay in Betfred Super League.

By Peter Smith
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 11:41 am
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2022, 6:18 pm

Trinity will go into Friday’s derby at Castleford Tigers bottom of the table with just seven games remaining.

But Poching’s injury-hit side - without the first five on their squad list - led 12-0 against St Helens last weekend and took the champions and league leaders into extra-time before being pipped 13-12 by a golden point drop goal.

It will take a string of performances like that to save Trinity’s top-flight skins, but Poching insisted they have set a standard to maintain every game between now and the end of this season.

Despair for Trinity as St Helens celebrate their golden point win. Picture by Will Palmer/SWpix.com.

“That’s the big challenge for us,” Poching said.

“Without those performances you have questions about whether you have it in you.

“We know we do now so we have got to challenge ourselves, individually and collectively, to repeat that and make it our standard.”

Toulouse Olympique, who are level on points with Trinity but have a better for and against, kick off at home to Hull 30 minutes before the game at the Jungle.

Craig Hall evades Denny Solomona during Trinity's last win over Tigers, in February, 2015. Picture James Hardisty.

Poching, though, insisted he won’t be keeping tabs on events in France.

“We’ve got our game,” he stressed.

“I’ll be fully focused on that.”

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Kelepi Tanginoa will miss Trinity's derby at Castleford through suspension. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Victory over Tigers - a team they have not beaten for seven years - would be a huge boost to Wakefield’s survival hopes, whatever the result at Stade Ernest Wallon.

Trinity have lost their last 17 meetings with Castleford, since a 24-22 win at the Jungle in February, 2015.

Poching admitted: “It has been a while since we’ve had a win in the derby.

“But there’s some players who haven’t been here long so it doesn’t affect them as much - this hoodoo, or whatever it is.

“We have just got to attack it as another game and go there fully armed with our gameplan, our energy and our enthusiasm.”

Castleford are on the back of a 46-18 win at Hull last Friday, when Derrell Olpherts ran in four tries.

They were down to their last 17 available players earlier this week, but have named a 21-man squad after Cain Robb, Jason Qareqare and potential debutant Kieran Hudson were recalled from loan at Whitehaven and Jake Mamo had a suspension overturned on appeal.

Poching said: “They are missing a few and we are hearing stories they are down to the bare bones, but they have still got some quality in the side they are going to field - people like [Suaia] Matagi, [Liam] Watts, [Paul] McShane, [Danny Richardson].

“They have got pace and power as well so it makes for an exciting derby clash.”

Trinity are without Jorge Taufua (broken arm) and Kelepi Tanginoa (suspended) from last week’s team.

Yusuf Aydin, back at Trinity after a one-game loan with Leeds Rhinos, is vying for a call-up, alongside Lee Kershaw, Brad Walker, Isaac Shaw, Corey Hall and Rob Butler.

Castleford Tigers: from Olpherts, Mamo, Faraimo, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Lawler, Edwards, Milner, Westerman, Griffin, Fonua, Sutcliffe, Smith, Eden, Matagi, Martin, Robb, Qareqare, Hudson.

Wakefield Trinity: from Miller, Lino, Battye, Hood, Arona, Ashurst, Crowther, Whitbread, Batchelor, Gaskell, Kershaw, Croft, Walker, Aydin, Murphy, Shaw, Hall, Butler, Fifita, Bowden, Shaul.

Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).

Kick-off: Friday, 8pm.