Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester believes the reaction to last weekend’s narrow defeat to Leeds Rhinos shows just how far his club have come over the past 12 months.
Trinity’s winning run which had seen them charge into Super League’s top four was halted by the Rhinos, but only by a narrow two-point margin, Wakefield losing 18-16. However, Wakefield have already assured qualification for the Super 8s with several games of the regular season still remaining.
They head to Salford on Thursday night for the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup, and Chester believes the disappointment surrounding the Leeds loss is a firm indicator to the progression of Trinity.
“We want to win the majority of our home games and we’ve been playing some good stuff,” he said. “It was a missed chance and our ball control wasn’t good enough last weekend.
“I won’t be critical though because we’ve put ourselves in those Super 8s but we’re disappointed to have dropped out of the four. But it shows how far we’ve come, to be disappointed to lose by two points against a Leeds side who’ve been Super League champions for a number of years. It shows how far this group has come.
“There were lots of pleasing signs over the weekend. If we control the ball and kick it well then we’ll put ourselves in a position to win any game.”
Chester guided Wakefield to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup last year: and he is eyeing up a repeat performance on Thursday night.
“They’ll be hurting, Salford, after the performance over the weekend. It was very un-Salford-like.
“We want to go one better this year. We’ve got some fond memories of the Challenge Cup, including a good memory of the run we went on last year. I like this competition, I enjoyed playing in it and I enjoy coaching in it. I’d be very proud to be associated with a team who got into the semi-finals two years on the bounce with Wakefield. It’d be even better if we got to the final – but we’re just concentrating on going to Salford and putting in a good performance.”
Captain Danny Kirmond is in Trinity’s 19-man squad – and he is one of a number of players Chester will make a late call on.