Jacob Miller injury lays bare challenge facing Wakefield Trinity
WAKEFIELD TRINITY coach Chris Chester admits these are “challenging times” for his side, but hopes the return of some key players this week could turn the tide.
Trinity went down to their fourth defeat of the season – and third in Super League – when they were beaten 34-6 at champions St Helens three days ago.
To add to their woes, captain Jacob Miller joined the casualty list after damaging a knee midway through the first half and is expected to be out of action for at least four weeks.
Wakefield were already without a raft of influential players, including full-back Max Jowitt, centre Bill Tupou, winger Tom Johnstone and second-row Matty Ashurst, along with the suspended Kelepi Tanginoa.
Johnstone has been stood down for a month following concussions in successive matches, but Chester hopes to have some first-choice troops back for Friday’s game at Hull. “We have lost some really pivotal players,” admitted the coach.
“It is challenging times at the minute, but hopefully we will get some bodies back.
“We know we will have Kelepi back [this week] and he is ready to go and we’ll have Bill and Max back as well.
“We have just got to get on with it, keep working hard because we’ve got an important game on Friday.”
Despite losing Miller, Trinity went toe to toe with Saints throughout a scoreless first half on Friday night.
That gave Chester encouragement, but he accepts Wakefield have to stop making things easy for the opposition following half-time.
Wakefield were beaten 34-6 at Wigan Warriors in their previous league game, after going in at the break all-square and a two-point interval deficit against Catalans Dragons in the Challenge Cup became a 20-point defeat.
Chester insisted his players are “hurting”, but stressed his team, who conceded three tries in the opening 12 minutes of the second half at Saints, need to maintain their discipline and improve the way they end their sets.
“The effort is there, but we have said that the last three weeks,” he admitted.
“It is smarts – people not concentrating.
“That’s the frustrating part, what is happening at the start of second halves.”