A WIN over Wigan tonight would complete a “pleasing” first third of the season for Wakefield Trinity, coach Chris Chester says.
Trinity began Betfred Super League round 10 in fourth spot in the table with five wins and four defeats.
The visit of Wigan Warriors is their fourth successive home match and Chester said: “We spoke five or six weeks ago about how important the next couple of months were going to be.
“If we could get a result [tonight] we’d be pleased with the start we’ve had.
“Looking at the table and the for and against, there’s been no blow-out scorelines and we’ve got the fifth-best defence and fifth-best attack.
“It’s frustrating we picked up some close losses – against St Helens, Hull KR and Warrington – but we are ticking along nicely and the table is beginning to look after itself.”
Wigan are on the back of a 38-28 loss at Castleford Tigers last week, after they had led 20-0.
“They are a threat with the ball; I thought they were good for large parts against Cas,” Chester observed.
“It is an important game for us – for both teams because they are going to be desperate as well.
“They haven’t got off to the usual Wigan start and they will want to get their season up and running and we want to keep our foot on the gas so it will be a big result for whoever wins.”
Chester will select from the 17 who beat Huddersfield Giants a week ago, plus Anthony England – who missed the previous game owing to a sore neck – and Danny Kirmond.
Wigan suffered three major injuries in their defeat at Castleford Tigers, losing Dom Manfredi Jarrod Sammut and Joe Greenwood.
Sam Powell is available after injury and academy forward Joe Shorrocks could make his debut, with Tom Davies, Morgan Escare and Liam Paisley also coming into contention.
Wakefield Trinity: from Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Brough, Crowther, England, Fifita, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, King, Kirmond, Kopczak, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Wood.
Wigan Warriors: from Bullock, Burgess, Byrne, Davies, Escare, Hardaker, Gildart, Isa, Leuluai, Navarette, Paisley, Partington, Powell, Sarginson, Jake Shorrocks, Joe Shorricks, Smithies, Tautai, Williams.
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).
Kick-off: Tonight, 7.45pm.