Flying winger Tom Johnstone insists Wakefield Trinity will bounce back from Castleford Tigers defeat

Not many players grab the headlines in a 17-point loss, but Tom Johnstone did when Wakefield Trinity were beaten at Castleford Tigers in Betfred Super League round four.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 5:00 pm
Tom Johnstone. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Trinity slumped 32-15, having led 15-14 at half-time through tries by former Cas player Joe Westerman and Johnstone, who produced a stunning, acrobatic finish at the corner as two defenders attempted to shove him into touch.

Though Castleford ran away with the game in a dominant second half, Johnstone’s try - in only his third match back following a knee reconstruction - has been a hot topic ever since.

“I was over the moon to score that,” Johnstone said of his spectacular touchdown, his second try in successive games following the clincher in Trinity’s round three win over Warrington Wolves.

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Trinity's Josh Wood tries to escape from a tackle by Grant Millington of Castleford. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

“I knew Milky [Jacob Miller] would come straight back when the ball went down so I got ready for it.

“Sometimes they come off and that time it did.”

But it is a team game and Johnstone admitted he would rather have not scored and come away with the win.

“It was a very disappointing second half,” he said. “We did everything right in the first half and then just kind of fell apart.

“There were about 10 penalties against us, two sin-binnings and repeat errors. You are not going to beat a team like Cas doing things like that.”

Wakefield have a long turnaround to Sunday’s game at Salford Red Devils and Johnstone stressed the positive is they know what went wrong and how to fix it.

He said: “We went into [last week’s] game wanting to build on the win over Warrington and I thought we did that in the first half.

“I thought we were class - and then in the second half we just went completely away from what we planned on doing and it hurt us.

“We are going to have a look at those things.

“We have already had a chat about them and we are going to look at fixing them up this week.”

Results in the early rounds suggest it is going to be a tight competition this year so Trinity need to build some consistency as quickly as possible.

“I feel like if we had gone two [wins] from three we would have put ourselves in a good position, especially after the disappointing start,” Johnstone added.

“Being one from three looks a lot uglier so we need to pull our finger out and do some things this week and hopefully get back on track on Sunday.”

The win over Warrington proved Trinity can beat the top sides when they get their game together.

“When we are on we can be one of the best teams in the comp’,” Johnstone insisted.

“I firmly believe that, but a lot of the time we keep letting ourselves down.

“We are a bit too inconsistent at the minute, but I feel we will get better as we go on.”

On a personal note, after two anterior cruciate ligament injuries in three years Johnstone is delighted just to be back on the field.

He said: “I am feeling good, physically and on attack.

“There was a few disappointing aspects out there on defence, a couple of reads I wasn’t fully happy with, but that will come with time.

“Last time I put a lot of pressure on myself to be back playing straight away so this time I have said I’ll just keep going and by mid-season I’ll be happy if I am playing consistently well week-in and week-out.

“That’s the aim, but if it comes a bit sooner I will welcome it gladly.”