Wakefield Trinity: We've not hit our straps yet, insists Jones-Bishop

WAKEFIELD TRINITY are on a record-breaking run, but winger Ben Jones-Bishop says they can '“ and must '“ get better.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 10th March 2018, 4:57 am
Wakefield's Ben Jones-Bishop is congratulated by Joe Arundel after scoring a try against Huddersfield.
Wakefield's Ben Jones-Bishop is congratulated by Joe Arundel after scoring a try against Huddersfield.

Trinity have won their opening four games for the first time in Betfred Super League, but face a tricky challenge to keep that sequence going at Wigan Warriors tomorrow.

Jones-Bishop reckons they have the tools to get the job done, but will need to add sharper attack to their solid defence.

“I don’t think we’ve hit our straps yet,” Jones-Bishop said. “I think we’re still a bit rough in patches with the ball.

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“The last three games we’ve played have been a tough battle down the middle and we’ve shown up well in defence. That is what’s got us the four wins.

He added: “We are under no illusions, we are not patting ourselves on the back or getting carried away.

“We know there’s still a long way to go and plenty of work to be done, but one positive thing is we are winning the tight games.

“Last year we were coming up short in those games and ultimately that was probably the difference between us being in and out of the top-four.

“I’m sure we will get tested more in the weeks to come, but it has been a positive start.”

Wigan have won three of their opening four matches and Jones-Bishop observed: “They like to move the ball around and they are a good team so it will be a good test for us.

“They are another physical team. We are still not there for 80 minutes so we’ve got areas to work on.

“Last week was a bit disjointed at training, we didn’t get on the field much, but the weather has improved this week and we’ve been able to work on combinations and getting the ball through hands.”

Trinity have conceded only 36 points in their opening four games, four more than St Helens, but better than anybody else in the division.

On attack they have scored only 80, a total bettered by four of their rivals.

“We can be a lot more clinical,” Jones-Bishop admitted. “We are making quite a few errors with the ball in hand, which is making us do a lot more defence.

“In the first half against Huddersfield [last Sunday] they had nine sets on our line, but that said it is a positive we are fronting up and we’ve averaged less than 10 points per game [conceded]. There’s more challenges ahead, but we are quietly going about our business and looking to improve week-in, week-out.”

Jones-Bishop opened his account for the season with a brace in the 22-4 win over Giants and admitted it was “nice to get on the board, finally”.

The former Leeds Rhinos flier said. “I was on the end of some great play. It is a lot easier for our half-backs when our middles are dominating. I’ll try to keep busy and more importantly get the tough stuff done in yardage and get us up the field.”

Australian hooker Tyler Randell is set to make his first competitive appearance of the season tomorrow.

He has not played since suffering a knee injury against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day.

Tom Johnstone, Reece Lyne and Justin Horo are all back in contention after being rested last week, so Joe Arundel and Mason Caton-Brown make way.

Wigan are without Joel Tomkins, who has a swollen knee. Gabe Hamlin has been called into the 19-man squad and Liam Marshall and Romain Navarrete are also vying for a place in the team.

Wigan Warriors: from Bateman, Burgess, Clubb, Davies, Escare, Farrell, Flower, Gildart, Hamlin, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Navarrete, O’Loughlin Powell, Sutton, Tautai, S Tomkins, Williams.

Wakefield Trinity: from Arona, Ashurst, England, Fifita, Finn, Grix, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Huby, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Kirmond, Lyne, Miller, Pauli. Randell, Tupou, Wood.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.