FRUSTRATED WAKEFIELD Trinity boss Chris Chester is fed up of losing players to foul play.
Winger Ben Jones-Bishop will miss tonight’s trip to St Helens because of facial injuries suffered in last week’s defeat at Huddersfield Giants.
Giants’ Ukuma Ta’ai later admitted a high tackle and was suspended for tonight’s clash with Hull.
There was a similar incident in Wakefield’s Betfred Super League round-one loss to Hull, when Matty Ashurst left the field following a high tackle by Albert Kelly. That was also referred to the RFL disciplinary by the match review panel and Kelly received a one-match ban after a guilty plea
“In two games running foul play has gone on on the field and not been penalised or seen by the referee and two touch judges,” Chester said.
“Ta’ai got a grade B charge and Kelly was grade B. We didn’t get rewarded on the day and the team Huddersfield play next will get the benefit, like Catalans did from Kelly not playing last week.”
Chester added: “It’s mind-blowing they have been missed, but we can only control what we can control and we’ve got to get on with it. It’s disappointing for Bish, he has been playing well, but somebody else will get a chance – maybe Joe Arundel or Mason Caton-Brown.”
Trinity led against both Hull and Huddersfield and Chester reflected: “For two weeks running we’ve put ourselves in a position to win the game and for one reason or another we’ve not been able to close the game out.
“It’s disappointing. Whether it’s a confidence thing or we’re just not getting our game-management right I am not too sure. There’s bags or effort, but it feels like they get a bit nervous when they get in front – like it is unfamiliar territory for them.
“It is frustrating more than anything, but there’s still 21 games to go and if we were getting beaten by 20 or 30 points we would be scratching our heads. But we are putting ourselves in winning positions and playing some good football to get there.”
Saints began the season with a 6-4 home win over Leeds Rhinos, but were beaten 24-16 at Leigh Centurions in round two.
“There’s zero pressure on us going to Saints,” said Chester, whose team are on an 11-game losing run. “Nobody expects us to win, they will be saying it is a good time to be playing Wakefield Trinity after two losses [this season], but I think it is a good time to go to Saints, who will be hurting from their result at the weekend.
“We have lost a couple, but there’s still a lot of belief and confidence in the group – it’s just frustrating we’ve not been able to close games out.”
Arundel and Caton-Brown have both been drafted into Trinity’s 19-man squad. Michael Sio, Chris Annakin and James Batchelor are also in contention, with Jordan Crowther and Anthony Walker (shoulder) dropping out. Jonny Lomax (knee) and Luke Douglas (finger) have joined Saints’ injury list, but new signing Zeb Taia could make his debut and Adam Walker, Jack Owens and Calvin Wellington are also vying for a call-up.
St Helens: from Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Swift, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Walker, Thompson, Lee, Peyroux, Knowles, Owens, Richardson, Wellington, Taia.
Wakefield Trinity: from Grix, Johnstone, Tupou, Lyne, Miller, Finn, England, Wood, Ashurst, Kirmond, Sio, Williams, Fifita, Arona, Huby, Arundel, Caton-Brown, Annakin, Batchelor.
Referee: James Child (Batley).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.