Wigan Warriors 30 Wakefield Trinity 18: Chester excited by his players' reaction to first loss of season

BOSS CHRIS Chester admitted his disappointment at yesterday's 30-18 defeat away to Wigan Warriors was an indication of the progress Wakefield Trinity are making.

Sunday, 11th March 2018, 8:15 pm
Updated Sunday, 11th March 2018, 9:20 pm
Wakefield Trinity's Keegan Hirst is tackled by Wigan Warriors Taulima Tautai (left) and Sam Powell (right) during the Betfred Super League match at the DW Stadium, Wigan. PIC: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Trinity had won their opening four games in Betfred Super League for the first time, but were second best to an impressive Wigan outfit.

Chester said: “The boys are disappointed, but it shows how far we’ve come as a playing group, that we are disappointed we’ve come to Wigan and not got the result.”

Tries from Ben Jones-Bishop at the beginning and end of the first half helped Trinity into a deserved 12-10 interval lead.

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Wakefield Trinity coach, Chris Chester.

Reece Lyne, who was called into the England Knights squad last week, provided the final pass on both occasions.

The first, after four minutes, followed an error by Tom Davies who spilled Sam Tomkins’ pass near Wigan’s line.

Jones-Bishop, unlucky not to get an international call, added his second after Wigan’s George Williams broke Wakefield’s defensive line, but was penalised for obstruction.

Liam Finn converted the second touchdown. He had made it 6-0 with a penalty goal after nine minutes.

Wakefield's Keegan Hirst met the Wigan defensive threat head on. PIC: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Wigan struggled to hold on to the ball in the early stages, but opened their account in the set after a knock-on by Wakefield’s Anthony England; Thomas Leuluai and Liam Farrell linking to send Joe Burgess over.

That was unconverted, but Wigan went ahead on 29 minutes through Taulima Tautai.

The former Wakefield forward, making his 100th appearance for Wigan, crashed over from close range off Tomkins’ pass. Morgan Escare added the extras.

Burgess’ second try and a Tomkins conversion edged Wigan back in front early in the second half, but Jones-Bishop had two touchdowns ruled out – both due to a forward pass from Finn – before Davies strolled over at the corner from Williams’ pass.

Wakefield Trinity coach, Chris Chester.

Tomkins added a touchline conversion and Burgess completed his hat-trick, Tomkins’ goal making it 28-12, with 17 minutes left.

Finn had a touchdown disallowed for obstruction, but Tinirau Arona scored a consolation try six minutes from the end, from a Craig Huby off-load, which Finn converted. Wigan completed the scoring through a Tomkins penalty goal.

That came in the set after Escare had a touchdown ruled out for offside, but Trinity failed to find touch with their subsequent kick.

Reflecting on his side’s performance, Chester said: “I thought effort-wise we were brilliant from one to 17.

Wakefield's Keegan Hirst met the Wigan defensive threat head on. PIC: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

“Had we been a bit smarter in the second half things might have been different, but I’ve got no issues. “I thought we were beaten by the better side overall, but I am proud of everybody.

“That has been our biggest challenge and unfortunately we just came up short.”

Chester was pleased with fit-again Tyler Randell’s contribution in his first game of the season and is confident Scott Grix, who went off with a head injury, and England (ill) will be available for Saturday’s visit of Widnes Vikings.

David Fifita suffered a groin problem, but Trinity went into the game with a fully-fit squad and Chester was able to rest Pauli Pauli and Ryan Hampshire.

Wigan Warriors: S Tomkins, Davies, Bateman, Gildart, Burgess, Williams, Powell, Clubb, Leuluai, Flower, Isa, Farrell, O’Loughlin. Subs Sutton, Tautai, Navarrete, Escare.

Wakefield Trinity: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Finn, England, Wood, Fifita, Ashurst, Kirmond, Arona. Subs Huby, Randell, Horo, Hirst.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).

Attendance: 11,455.