Injury-hit Wakefield Trinity aim to follow Leeds Rhinos' example by taking the game to St Helens
Depleted Wakefield Trinity will aim to take a leaf out of Leeds Rhinos’ book when their tough start to Betfred Super League continues at St Helens tonight.
“We’ve had the Challenge Cup winners, the Grand Final losers and the Grand Final winners in our first three games,” coach Chris Chester pointed out.
“They are all hard games; we take some positives from all three weeks, but we’ve just got to get some points on the board.
“We are going to have to do it tough this week, with no Bill Tupou, Kelepi Tanginoa, Matty Ashurst, Tom Johnstone or Max Jowitt, but I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for some fringe players and some guys to put their hand up. We are looking forward to it.”
Tanginoa will serve a one-match ban, Tupou (hamstring), Johnstone (head) and Jowitt (head) were all hurt in last weekend’s Challenge Cup loss to Catalans Dragons and Matty Ashurst rolled an ankle in the final tackle of a training session on Tuesday.
But Kyle Wood and Eddie Battye are available after injury and Joe Arundel, Jack Croft, Brad Walker, Lee Kershaw, Ryan Hampshire, Ollie Greensmith and Dane Windrow are also included in Trinity’s initial 21-man squad.
Rhinos pushed Saints all the way with an injury-hit side six days ago and Chester said: “They had plenty of energy and it could have gone either way.
“We’ve just got to take the game to Saints, move the ball around and play some footy.
“I am pretty sure we’ll have been written off by everybody, so we’ll see how it pans out.”
Saints are without Matty Lees and Sione Mata’utia, who were both injured against Leeds.
Aaron Smith is available after injury and Mark Percival, Dan Norman, Tom Nisbet, Joe Batchelor - who was born in Wakefield and is brother of Trinity’s James Batchelor - and Jake Wingfield are also in contention.
St Helens: from Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Bentley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Paasi, Welsby, Smith, Joe Batchelor, Dodd, Wingfield, Norman, Nisbet.
Wakefield Trinity: from Lyne, Miller, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Arona, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, James Batchelor, Green, Senior, Crowther, Arundel, J Wood, Croft, B Walker, Kershaw, Hampshire, Greensmith, Windrow.
Referee: James Child (Dewsbury).
Kick-off: Friday, 6pm.