Wakefield Trinity v Huddersfield Giants: Willie Poching keen to continue remarkable record against former clubs in Magic Weekend day two opener
Wakefield Trinity's interim-coach Willie Poching could continue a remarkable record tomorrow (Sunday).
Trinity have won three of their four games since Poching took charge last month - those victories coming against his former sides Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos.
Wakefield face another club where Poching spent time as an assistant-coach, Huddersfield Giants, at Magic Weekend in Newcastle tomorrow.
A fourth win would boost Poching’s hopes of being appointed on a permanent basis and he is relishing pitting his wits against Huddersfield coach Ian Watson, who was his boss during their time together at Salford Red Devils.
“I first came across Watto as a coach when he was at Swinton and I was at Warrington coming through,” Poching recalled.
“Watching his energy and learning about his knowledge of the game excited me when he gave me the chance to join him at Salford.
“Then I got to see not just how passionate he is for the game, but coaching and how hard he works at his craft and helping players.
“That was an eye-opener and a real big thing to learn from - just how hard you can work.
“I learned a lot from him on that as well as how hard coaching can be, the challenges that come with it and a lot of the stuff around managing players, managing your staff and managing your board which he is very, very good at.”
Huddersfield - Magic’s most successful club - are on the back of a 42-14 home demolition of Hull five days ago and Poching described them as “dangerous” opposition.
But Trinity are on a high from Monday’s 20-13 defeat of Leeds and the caretaker coach wants his players to approach tomorrow in the same positive manner.
“What I’ve tried to do is just allow the players to enjoy themselves, especially in the early days when I took over,” he said.
“I am just trying to take some of the pressure off.
“We’ve faced some of the bigger clubs and had three big clubs and three wins we’ve been happy with.
“I’m not sure what the secret is, but we’ll keep playing with a smile on our faces and see where that takes us at the end of the season.”
Poching will select tomorrow’s side from the 17 who beat Leeds, plus Reece Lyne, Joe Westerman, Josh Wood and Brad Walker.
Lee Gaskell, who will join Trinity next season, returns to Giants’ squad.
Wakefield Trinity: from Johnstone, Lyne, Kay, Miller, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Tanginoa, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, Batchelor, Green, I Senior, Crowther, Arundel, J Wood, B Walker, Aydin, Kershaw, Hampshire.
Huddersfield Giants: from Golding, Jake Wardle, Leutele, Gaskell, Lawrence, Jones, English, Greenwood, Cogger, McQueen, Wilson, Cudjoe, Russell, L Senior, Trout, S Wood, Hewitt, Ashall-Bott, Pryce, Peteru, Peats.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 1pm, at St James’ Park, Newcastle.
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