WAKEFIELD TRINITY, Dewsbury Rams and Hunslet will each be looking for improvement when they complete their pre-season fixtures tomorrow (all 3pm).
The clash with Sheffield Eagles – who will use Belle Vue as their home ground this year – is Trinity’s fifth and final warm-up game and coach Chris Chester is planning to experiment after a below-par performance at Featherstone last week.
“We are looking at using Sunday as a game to really try a few things,” said Chester, who has had to balance the need to work on combinations and give some players who are returning from injury game time with the importance of getting through injury-free.
“Five is probably one or two too many, but I understand the reasons behind playing these games. The worry is injuries, but we’ve been very fortunate. We’ve not really had any injuries so we are looking pretty good at the moment.”
Dewsbury have lost their three previous trial matches – against Batley Bulldogs, Wakefield and Australian side Yowies – and face another huge test away to Super League newcomers Leigh Centurions.
“Pre-season is about performances,” stressed Rams coach Glenn Morrison. “It’s about putting things in place that we’ve been doing in training.
“When I was planning pre-season I said I don’t mind coming out without a win as long as we have tough games and get battle-hardened for the season. Results start mattering next week, this is all about getting ready for the first round.”
After defeats to Featherstone Rovers and Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet coach James Coyle says tomorrow’s game, at home to amateur neighbours Hunslet Club Parkside, will be a “different challenge”.
Coyle predicted: “I think they are maybe going to be more motivated than the other two teams we’ve played.
“I think there’ll be some really high intensity and aggression in the opening exchanges. I am sure they will be well-drilled and it is a tough challenge.
“They are one of the best amateur teams and we can’t underestimate them.
“We will probably be going with what we feel is our strongest team at this stage.”