Wakefield Trinity improving week on week insists Craig Kopczak
OFF-SEASON SIGNING Craig Kopczak is looking on the bright side of Wakefield Trinity’s heartbreaking defeat to St Helens.
Trinity went down 24-18 to last year’s league leaders and are without a point after two rounds of Betfred Super League.
But they matched Saints throughout a thrilling contest and the game looked to be heading for golden point extra time until Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook grabbed the winning try with less than three minutes remaining.
Trinity had been beaten 42-24 by promoted London Broncos in round one and Kopczak stressed: “There were massive improvements from that.
“We knew we had it in our locker to produce something like that.
“Fair play to St Helens, they ground it out and it was just a really good, tough game.”
Trinity bounced back from going 6-0 behind early on and losing Danny Brough for 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
They led once, early in the second half, and twice drew level and Kopczak felt that showed their true character.
“We said that after the game,” he added.
“We had a player in the sin-bin and we lost two players – Chubbs [Craig Huby] and Kirmo [Danny Kirmond] – with injuries so adversity was against us, but our attitude was outstanding.
“Just to grind it out and get into the position we did was excellent and we were unfortunate not to nick it at the end, but that’s St Helens for you.
“How many times have they done that in the past?”
Kopczak insisted Trinity have proved they can compete with the best teams this year.
“A few of their players said after the game it was a real, real tough game for them,” he revealed.
“They absolutely battered Wigan in their first game and I thought we, as a middle, dominated them a bit. There are really positive signs there for us and we’ll just go forward now and take the next game.
“There’s no better than Catalans at home; they are a big, physical side so we’ll dust ourselves off and go again.”
That will be a challenge for Kopczak and his fellow forwards, particularly the front-row, with Pauli Pauli still on the casualty list.
James Batchelor and Tyler Randell both missed last weekend’s match, but Kopczak insisted: “It’s all right, we have still got Keegan Hirst to come in and a few young lads like Jordan Baldwinson.
“There’s still competition there and it’s a great opportunity for one of them to come in now and put their hand up.”
Trinity have no game this weekend when most of Super League is put on hold to accommodate the World Club Challenge.
“It is a bit of a bad thing for us after two losses,” Kopczak admitted. “We would like to get out there and go again, but we can put things right in training now.
“I think we are getting better each week.
“I would have liked to say that after two wins, but it is what it is.
“We have just got to tweak a few things up in good ball.
“We were a bit scrappy in that area, but if we can do that we can compete with anybody.”
Kopczak joined Trinity from Salford Red Devils last autumn.
“I am really enjoying it,” he reflected.
“I just love playing rugby league, I’ve been having a smile on my face and that’s what it’s all about.”