Wakefield Trinity looking to ‘get one over’ on Catalans Dragons

BACK-ROW James Batchelor says Wakefield Trinity are looking to instantly make up for their disappointing Super League opener defeat by winning at beaten Grand Finalists Catalans Dragons on Saturday.

By Dave Craven
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 6:00 am

The England Knights forward came off the bench as Trinity began with a 16-12 home loss against Hull FC on Sunday.

They had been level 6-6 at the break but quickly conceded two tries at the start of the second period and never recovered, even after their opponents saw Jake Connor red-carded in the 65th minute.

Clearly, visiting reigning League Leaders’ Shield winners Catalans in Perpignan will not be the easiest of tasks for their second fixture on Saturday, especially as Steve McNamara’s side only lost at home twice all last year.

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Batchelor admitted: “It will be tough. It always is when going over there. But they will have a few missing with bans and injuries.

“We’ll go have a dig and we get the first shot on them over there.

“They have a bit of a target on their back now given how good they were at home last year but we get that first chance to try and get one over on them.”

If Willie Poching’s side are to do that, they will need to make sure they do not switch off like they did in that 10 minute spell at a rain-lashed Belle Vue against Hull.

Wakefield Trinity's James Batchelor. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Batchelor, 23, conceded: “It was a game we should have won.

“There’s no two ways about that. That start to the second half is what got us.

“We knew what was coming (with the conditions). I think you are going to get that for probably the first month of the season wherever you’re going to play anyway.

“I thought we dealt with it well, apart from that first 10 minutes.

“We let them out of their end far too easily and conceded two soft tries that cost us in the end.

“I was on at that point and I have to look at what I can do better to help the team out.”

Wakefield will be without Reece Lyne after the England centre was given a two-game ban for a Grade C dangerous contact in the match against Hull.

Connor, meanwhile, was given a one-match suspension after he became the third player in the opening round to be red carded for contact to the head.

The RFL are clearly clamping down on that this term and, on the Connor incident, Batchelor said: “I was behind the play.

“But with the rules as they are this year they have tightened up on it and you have got to (give a red).

“We’d seen it with some other cards already.”

Batchelor added: “We’ve had a few talks from Paul Cullen (RFL Match Review panelist) and a few of the refs have come down to explain how they are tightening the rules up and the reasons for that.

“It’s definitely something we’re aware of but sometimes these things will happen: I don’t think he meant to hit him in the head but he has done and it’s ended up being a red.”

Wakefield captain Jacob Miller was handed a Grade A contact with the referee charge by the Match Review Panel but did not receive a ban.

Catalans’ Gil Dudson was given a ** match suspension for punching in their loss at St Helens, Dylan Napa was bannded for *** for striking with in the head with a shoulder and, to add to the woes of Dragons chief McNamara, fellow prop Julian Bousquet also suffered a broken arm.