A WIN over Catalans Dragons this weekend would be the perfect way for Wakefield Trinity prop Craig Huby to celebrate his 300th career appearance.
The 30-year-old, who made his debut for Castleford Tigers aged 16 in 2003, remains confident Trinity can hang on to a place in Betfred Super League’s all-important top-eight, despite a recent run of defeats.
Huby has played 11 games for Wakefield this year after 47 as a Huddersfield Giants player in 2015-2016 and 241 with Tigers from 2003-2014.
His milestone match is set to come after a tough period of three games in nine days.
And Huby admitted to being “mentally and physically drained”.
But with Catalans being among Wakefield’s main rivals in the race to the top-eight he knows Trinity will have to dig deep on Sunday afternoon.
We are there or thereabouts in most games and we’re not lacking effort. Sometimes effort doesn’t get the result you need.Craig Huby
“We are on the back of three tough defeats,” Huby said. “We had three really tough teams to come up against and the boys dug in in every game, bar the first half against Cas.
“It has taken a great mentality from us, but unfortunately we just couldn’t come out on top.”
Wakefield outscored Castleford 12-6 in the second half on Good Friday after trailing 36-12 at half-time and pushed Wigan Warriors all the way before losing 16-10 on Easter Monday.
Last Saturday they were 16-4 ahead early in the second period at Warrington Wolves, but the home side rallied and snatched a 22-20 win through a last-gasp try.
“It was a matter of finishing the game off,” Huby said of the loss six days ago. “We just lacked a bit of smartness and ultimately it cost us the game.”
But he insisted: “We can take a lot from all three games.
“We are there or thereabouts in most games and we’re not lacking effort. Sometimes effort doesn’t get the result you need. We have had a bit of time off and we’ve got to regroup now and get ready for Catalans.
“That’s a big game, but every game is massive. We are not sitting too badly in the table at the minute, but we need to get better. We can’t continue this unlucky streak we are on.”
Trinity, who won 38-18 in Perpignan at the start of this month, are seventh on the ladder at the halfway stage and on course for a second successive appearance in the top-flight Super-8s.
Five wins from their remaining 12 games could be enough to secure a top-eight spot and Huby said: “That’s where we want to be. The Easter weekend has been a tough one and it can define your season, but we have got to stick together now and work hard.
“The next three or four games are quite important for us and they could shape our season. We have hit a bit of a stumbling block, but there’s a lot of positives from the games we’ve played.
“We just need to tweak a few things and we are not far off.”
Centre Reece Lyne could be back in the team this weekend after injury and Scott Grix, who was rested last Saturday, is also available.
Huby said: “Reece will be a massive boost for us when he gets back.
“He was playing out of his skin before he got injured.
“Hopefully we’ll get Grixy back in and I think we will be all right.”