Wakefield Trinity’s Willie Poching remains upbeat ahead of St Helens visit

Wakefield may have lost their first two games of the season, but they will have a spring in their step when they visit defending champions St Helens on Friday.

Coach Willie Poching says his squad is in high spirits despite losing 24-22 against Catalans Dragons in France on Saturday.

A battling display and last-minute long-range try for winger Tom Lineham left the Perpignan side in a panic and Poching more delighted than deflated.

He told League Express: “We’ve got a spirit for each other, which is really pleasing. It’s one of the hardest things to create.

“There’s a massive element of pride in how we fought and dug ourselves out of a hole, but also some disappointment that we gave such a quality team a leg-up that they didn’t need.

“The first 20 minutes of the game was a real factor in the result.

“We couldn’t quite get ourselves out of yardage and had minimal ball. I think we had two sets in their half and ended up scoring two tries on the back of them.

“We took a lot of heart from that at half-time and we had a good discussion about trying to work our way into those positions more often.

“We’ve been to some depths as far as the squad is concerned, we’re shuffling around, James Batchelor had to play in the centres, and young Harry Bowes, who is a hooker by nature, had to jump into the halves.

“Isaac Shaw and Jai Whitbread were on debut, so we’ve had to go a little deeper than we would normally do at this time of the year, but to see them front up and play with the spirit they did is really heartening.

“That’s the spirit of the squad and it goes all the way through.

“We took heart from our defensive efforts against Hull but couldn’t quite back it up as much as we’d have liked to.”

Poching is under no illusions about the task ahead against the early pace-setters.

He added: “If you’re off by a millimetre, they will punish you.

“Teams like Catalans and St Helens don’t give you much. You’ve got to work hard to get your chances.”

Poching is hoping for good news on hooker Liam Hood, who picked up a shoulder injury in Perpignan.

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