Wakefield Trinity have a point to prove against Catalans Dragons says Chris Chester

IF THEY win it will be one of the most dramatic turnarounds in recent rugby league history, but Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester insists he is looking for a “positive response and a positive result” in today’s rematch with Catalans Dragons.

Saturday, 22nd August 2020, 5:55 am
Wakefield Trinity head coach Chris Chester. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The Coral Challenge Cup sixth round tie, behind closed doors at Huddersfield, comes exactly a week after Trinity were crushed 58-0 by Catalans in Betfred Super League.

The French side scored 10 unanswered tries against an injury-ravaged Wakefield, but Chester pledged: “We will go there positive.”

He said: “You learn a lot more in defeat than when you win a game.

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Wakefield Trinity loanee Innes Senior. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“We know we weren’t at the races at all last week, straight from the kick-off.

“Attitude-wise we were really poor and we’ve had to draw a line under that.

“It is not acceptable, to the standards of Wakefield Trinity, to the fans and certainly not to the playing group.

“We are hoping and I am hoping the boys can turn it around.”

Catalans Dragons' Israel Folau scores against Castleford Tigers. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Chester felt “everything that could go wrong did go wrong” last week.

“We weren’t great on the field and losing [Tony] Gigot and [Lee] Kershaw, two outside-backs, in the first 15-20 minutes obviously didn’t help,” he recalled.

“When you lose your star middle as well in Kelepi [Tanginoa] you are always going to be chasing the game.

“But no excuses, we were terrible and the players will be held accountable as I will be as the coach.”

The result seven days ago means Trinity have little to lose.

Chester added: “It is a lonely place when you put in performances like that.

“I have had plenty of time to think about things and I am looking forward to getting back out there and trying to get a really positive response and a positive result.”

Reece Lyne is beginning a two-game ban following an incident last week, Gigot has a dead leg and Kershaw is facing eight weeks after suffering what Chester said is a “nasty” hamstring injury a week ago.

“We have just got to get on with it,” Chester said of Trinity’s fitness woes.

“There’s no point worrying about it, we have got plenty of guys who are chomping at the bit to play this week so there will be a few changes, forced and unforced.”

Wakefield could give a debut to winger Innes Senior who joined on loan from Huddersfield Giants earlier this week.

Suspended duo Sam Tomkins and Sam Moa are out for Catalans but Israel Folau is available after missing last weekend due to the birth of his first child.

Today’s game was scheduled to be part of a sixth-round double-header, but Hull FC’s tie against Castleford was postponed after several Hull players and staff tested positive for covid-19 last week.

Wakefield Trinity: from Walker, Tupou, Miller, Fifita, Wood, Arona, Ashurst, Kirmond, Westerman, Pitts, Kopczak, Batchelor, Tangata, Crowther, Jowitt, Croft, Hampshire, Bailey, Tanginoa, Navarette, Senior.

Catalans Dragons: from Mead, Folau, Yaha, Maloney, Drinkwater, Casty, McIlorum, Whitley, J Tomkins, Garcia, Davies, Jullien, Da Costa, Goudemand, Seguier, Romano, Maria, Baitieri, Mourgue, Belmas, Kasiano.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).

Kick-off: Today, 2.30pm at John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield.