Warrington Wolves v Wakefield Trinity - Coach Chris Chester's side ready for 'acid test'
Wakefield Trinity are ready for their “acid test” at HJ Stadium on Friday, coach Chris Chester says.
After a nine-game losing run, Trinity have won their last three matches, all at home, but this week will be a tougher task against a Warrington Wolves side looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Castleford Tigers.
Following impressive victories over Hull KR and Huddersfield Giants, Chester admitted Trinity “won ugly” in their latest game against Super League’s bottom club Leigh Centurions.
He reckons they can take heart from the way they pulled the game from the fire in the last 10 minutes, having not played well, but expects Warrington to be fired up after their Cup upset.
“It is an acid test this week,” Chester said.
“We are coming up against a top-four side who are obviously going to be smarting from their loss last weekend.
“We are on form and confident in ourselves, but I am sure they will be wanting to put their best foot forward.”
Wakefield are expecting a backlash from Warrington, who had been hot favourites to beat Castleford, but Chester insisted getting their own game in order is a higher priority.
“I think they were expected to win that game,” he said of Warrington’s Cup exit.
“Every year they are expected to be in a final of some sort and they have got one more to go at now.
“But the focus for us, during the limited time we’ve had in training, has been on improving from last weekend and making sure we raise our standards.
“I thought our standards dipped last week, in things like our execution and concentration.
“They are probably looking at our edge defence last weekend and thinking they can exploit some of our poor decision-making.
“But I think as a group we are looking forward to seeing how far we’ve come in such a short space of time.
“It will give us an indication as a group and team where we are at this stage of the year.”
Both coaches have named an unchanged 21-man squad from last week.
England winger Tom Johnstone could make his first Trinity appearance since being concussed two months ago, though Chester is considering holding him back for Wednesday’s home derby against Castleford.
Star forward Kelepi Tanginoa is included despite suffering a dead leg against Leigh and props Chris Green and Yusuf Aydin are also in contention, along with winger Innes Senior
Warrington boss Steve Price will select from the 17 beaten by Tigers, plus Rob Butler, Josh Thewlis, Ellis Longstaff and Connor Wrench.
Warrington Wolves: from Akauola, Austin, Butler, Charnley, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Davis, Hill, Hughes, King, Lineham, Longstaff, Mamo, Mulhern, Philbin, Ratchford, Thewlis, Walker, Widdop, Wrench.
Wakefield Trinity: from Jowitt, Johnstone, Tupou, Lyne, Kay, Miller, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Arona, Tanginoa, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, Batchelor, Green, Senior, Arundel, B Walker, Aydin, Kershaw.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths (Widnes).
Kick-off: Friday, 7.45pm.
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