Hull KR 32 Wakefield Trinity 10: Trinity in a rut, admits coach Willie Poching
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After their 32-10 defeat at Hull KR, Trinity are on a four-game losing run for the second time this season - those sequences being separated by a quartet of victories.
Having been two games away from a Betfred Challenge Cup final and knocking on the door of Super League’s top six just 15 days ago, Wakefield have slipped from seventh to 10th and are in danger of being dragged back into a relegation battle.
That shows how quickly things have changed and there is no need for panic yet, but coach Willie Poching admitted his side are in a “rut” and insisted hard work is the only way to get out of it.
Poching was “hurting” after the seven tries to two defeat at in-form Rovers, who will go into Friday’s game at Leeds Rhinos on a six-match winning run.
“Just like the players are, I was disappointed with the performance,” he said.
“We missed some opportunities and we just weren’t quite hitting the mark in good ball.
“We need to get to the bottom of why that wasn’t working and we lacked some composure offensively and defensively.
“They got on a roll a couple of times and scored some tries in areas we need to look at.
“There are plenty of things for us to fix up.”
Trinity were 24 points behind before breaking their duck through a try by Jacob Miller, who followed up to score after his kick had been spilled by Ethan Ryan.
Mason Lino converted and, soon afterwards, produced a long pass which winger Lewis Murphy touched down at the corner.
But a forward pass in the next set - one of several by Trinity at crucial times - took the pressure off and Ryan Hall crossed to end the fightback, before Kane Linnett’s second try completed the scoring.
Rovers were convincing winners, Lachlan Coote missing five successive conversion attempts after landing his first two.
Linnett, Coote and Shaun Kenny-Dowall scored tries for Rovers as they opened a 16-0 half-time lead and Ryan went over twice in quick succession soon after the break.
Poching felt a few things went against his side, but insisted: “We have to be better at overcoming that. Not getting calls our way happens, you get a punch in the mouth in the game - whether that’s a call or the opposition making a break or whatever.
“We have got to be stronger at taking some of that and copping a bit of medicine.”
The current four-match losing run came in the space of 14 days and Trinity have another short turnaround this week, but Poching refused to make excuses.
He said: “It hasn’t helped, but we knew what the fixtures were.
“Injuries are part and parcel and we have got full faith in the squad.
“There’s some that need a bit more work and need to catch up. We are in a bit of a rut at the moment and it is quite obvious we have got to get out of this.
“The Easter period is hard enough as it is; we are not going to make any excuses; we are going to get back to it and work hard, because that’s the only way to get out of it.
“Momentum can swing in an instant and we have got to front up on Thursday against a very dangerous Giants side.
“We have got some football in us and we know what we are capable of; we’ve just got to keep fighting and reproduce that.”
Hull KR: Coote, Ryan, Crooks, Kenny-Dowall, R Hall, Milnes, Abdull, Storton, Litten, King, Hadley, Linnett, Minchella. Subs Vete, Sims, Keinhorst, Richards.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Murphy, Lyne, C Hall, Johnstone, Miller, Lino, Tanginoa, Walker, Arona, Ashurst, Pitts, Batchelor. Subs Kay, Aydin, Battye, Crowther.
Referee: Aaron Moore (Wigan).