Wakefield Trinity v Leeds Rhinos - Our best team can beat anyone in Super League says Chris Chester
Based on last year’s form, they will go into today’s round one derby as underdogs, but coach Chris Chester reckons Wakefield Trinity are a match for anybody in Betfred Super League - when he has a full squad to select from.
Opening opponents Leeds Rhinos finished fifth, five places above Trinity, last year and Samoan half-back Mason Lino is the only new face in Chester’s playing group.
But the team boss insisted: “We can be a match for anybody when we’ve got our best team out on the field and I’m hopeful we’ve got that best team out there this week.”
He said: “We had our strongest team for four games out of the 19 we played last year, because of either injuries or Covid-related issues, but I am really confident in the squad.
“Saturday will give us a good marker of where we are at as a group and I am looking forward to seeing how our new combinations work out.”
Trinity were involved in a relegation battle two years ago and finished second from bottom in 2020, but Chester is adamant the play-offs are a realistic target.
He added: “We have had a chat in-house about what we want to try and achieve and how we do that.
“Fingers crossed we can tick a few boxes.”
Wakefield eased to a win over Championship part-timers Dewsbury Rams in their only trial match, two weeks ago and - after beginning pre-season back in December - the long-serving coach, now in his sixth campaign at the club, said they are ready and itching for a competitive game.
Today will give both teams an indication of what has worked in pre-season or still needs working on, but Chester reckons the scene is set for a “free-flowing game of rugby league”.
“There’s two sides that like to throw the ball around,” he said.
“I watched Leeds [in their warm-up game] against Huddersfield and they play a lot of shape at you, you have got to be pretty good defensively.
“We have got to look after Tom Briscoe in yardage and their pack as well.
“I think they have recruited really well, Zane Tetevano is a good player, one I admire and Matt Prior as well.
“We have just got to be at our best.”
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