Super League: Interim Wakefield Trinity coach Willie Poching ‘right man for the job’ says captain Jacob Miller
Wakefield Trinity captain Jacob Miller believes interim head coach Willie Poching is the “right man for the job” of taking the squad on permanently in 2022.
The assistant coach has certainly enjoyed a wonderful spell since stepping up to replace the sacked Chris Chester last month.
Poching will look to make it four wins from five games when Trinity face Huddersfield Giants at Magic Weekend on Sunday.
He has overseen successes against Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and - on Monday - Leeds Rhinos, breathing new life into players who had been struggling for form and consistency.
There is plenty of interest in the role and Poching, who wants to be considered, said he has not yet discussed with Trinity CEO Michael Carter what will happen in 2022.
However, asked if he thought the New Zealander was the right man for the vacancy, Australian stand-off Miller said: “Yes, I think the boys would probably like to see him take it on next year.
“He’s been with us for a little bit now so he’s had a kind of sneak peak of what he thinks we need to get better at and improve on.
“He’s been around here so he has a little bit of a head start on what he thinks we need - and the results have shown that he’s probably the right man for the job.”
Miller says Wakefield, who hope to have England loose-forward Joe Westerman back for the Huddersfield game, have benefited from “a bit of a freshen up” brought by Poching who initially joined last autumn after leaving his role as an assistant coach at Hull KR.
“There’s been some new ideas and a few home games as well which obviously helps,” he said.
“He hasn’t changed a great deal. I just think he’s stripped it back to why you play the game; we play it for each other and for the good times.
“We’ve tried to enjoy it a little more.
“We came in pretty early in pre-season and slogged it out.
“I just think we owe it to ourselves now to finish on a better note than what we had been playing.
“We’ve been letting ourselves and the coaching staff down at times during this year.
“We owe it to ourselves to finish on a good note and take confidence into pre-season next year.”
Meanwhile, Sunday’s game at St James’ Park in Newcastle will obviously bring back memories for Miller of his famous Magic exploits for Trinity at the same ground in 2016.
He dramatically struck a monster 51-metre drop goal in the 78th minute to deliver an epic 25-24 success over Catalans Dragons.
Wakefield had been 14-0 down and twice fought from behind.
Miller, who joined from Hull FC the year before, recalled: “Catalans were all over us early on and it was just the courage and spirit to fight back, the way we came back I remember.
“We got a little bit of luck. [Catalans’] Patty Richards hit a post with a penalty kick late in the second half. And we got a little bit of luck with the kick.
“You don’t really think you’re going to get them.
“Every half can probably hit them every two of out of 10 maybe. I just got lucky that it came off on the day.”
Huddersfield prop Luke Yates has signed a new deal at the club until the end of 2024 having turned down NRL interest.
However, he will lose his ever-present record having torn a pectoral muscle which keeps him out for up to four months.