Wakefield Trinity v Leigh Centurions - Chris Chester warns against complacency ahead of showdown with Super League 's bottom club

After their tough start to the season, Wakefield Trinity face a new challenge this weekend – handling the pressure of going into a game as favourites.

Saturday, 5th June 2021, 4:11 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th June 2021, 4:16 pm
Tom Johnstone, left, is back in contention for Trinity. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Trinity lost their opening seven competitive fixtures, but are on the back of successive wins ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Betfred Super League’s bottom club Leigh Centurions.

The scenario now looks much different from a few weeks ago, when it appeared this fixture would be a tense relegation four-pointer.

Trinity have now gained some breathing space and will be expected to put more distance between themselves and the foot of the table, but coach Chris Chester warned: “The biggest thing for us is we don’t go into this game complacent.”

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He said: “That is our biggest challenge, we have had two really good wins, we backed up a really good performance against Hull KR and it’s important we back up another big performance against Huddersfield.

“They will probably see it as a good opportunity for them to get their season up and running and we’ve got to make sure their season doesn’t happen on Sunday.”

Chester reckons his players’ “togetherness” has been at the heart of their revival.

“These guys have been working their backsides off all pre-season and the last seven weeks and they probably deserved something out of some of the games,” Chester said.

“We have definitely turned a corner with regards to how we are attacking, we are keeping it pretty simple and it’s no coincidence we’ve got our best players out on the pitch and we are performing better than we did in the first or five weeks.

“I think we’ve turned a corner defensively as well, we’ve found that resilience and toughness and it’s a confident group at the moment.

“We always knew it was going to be a tough start for us. We’ve had to go to Hull, Saints, Leeds twice, we’ve had to play Wigan and we’ve played Catalans.

“We got up and running two weeks ago against Hull KR and backed that up with a stronger performance last week. I expect more of the same this week and another strong performance.”

Tom Johnstone has been named in Trinity’s squad for the first time since being concussed two months ago. Innes Senior, Chris Green, Joe Arundel and Yusuf Aydin are also in contention, but Matty Ashurst begins a two-game ban.

Chester said: “Things are certainly looking a lot brighter than they did three, four or five weeks ago, when we couldn’t get our best side out.

“It’s nice we’ve got a bit of continuity now; our halves are playing well together, we’ve got Kyle Wood back from injury and some guys – like Bill Tupou, Reece Lyne, Tinirau Arona and Joe Westerman – who are in really good form.”

Leigh’s caretaker-coach Kurt Haggerty, who was placed in charge when John Duffy left the club this week, has named a 19-man squad. Nathan Mason is available after injury, but Ben Reynolds will serve a one-match suspension.

Wakefield Trinity from: Jowitt, Johnstone, Tupou, Lyne, Kay, Miller, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Arona, Tanginoa, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, Batchelor, Green, Senior, Arundel, B Walker, Aydin, Kershaw.

Leigh Centurions from: Brierley, Thornley, Sa’u, Tierney, Mellor, Hood, Ioane, Hellewell, Bell, Wildie, Peteru, Ellis, Gee, Mason, McCarthy, Mullen, Elliot, Peats, Gelling.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (Leigh).

Kick-off: Sunday, 3pm at Belle Vue.

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