Have Wakefield Trinity unearthed another top winger in Lewis Murphy as Tom Johnstone prepares to move to Catalans Dragons?
It was great to see him underline his undoubted potential with a two-try performance as Trinity provided another twist in the Super League survival battle by winning 32-6 at Castleford.
It came on the same night Toulouse lost 30-6 at home to Hull. Let’s be honest, who saw those two results coming? It means that Wakefield climbed off the bottom of the table and left the French side two points adrift in the relegation spot.
What’s more, they now have a points difference three better than Toulouse, rather than 47 worse.
Of course nothing has been decided yet and there are six games still to go – and looking at the respective schedules, it’s tough to say whose is harder.
For Wakefield, it’s Catalans and Wigan at home, Hull away, Hull KR at home, then St Helens and Huddersfield away.
Toulouse have just one home game remaining – a big French derby against Catalans, who beat them 18-10 earlier in the season – which comes after trips to Hull KR, Warrington and Wigan. After hosting the Dragons, they head to Hull and St Helens.
Friday’s two results, when Castleford had won five of their previous six matches and had home advantage over a Wakefield side that had lost five on the bounce, while Toulouse were targeting a fourth win in five and Hull had lost five out of six, show how difficult it is to predict outcomes.
Potentially, Warrington could get drawn into it, although that would take both Wakefield and Toulouse to hit some real form.
Going back to Murphy, he has done well to bounce back after a tough baptism earlier this season, and well done to Wille Poching for seeing his potential and keeping faith with him.
Lewis is a good, young, English prospect, the kind we need to be developing. But, as with most players of his age, there will be bumps along the way, and it can be hard for a coach to persevere with someone, given all the pressure on gaining instant results these days.
Given Wakefield’s injury woes, with Johnstone and new signing Jorge Taufua both out, they had two young wingers, Murphy and Lee Kershaw, on duty against Castleford, and there should be further chances for them to impress this year.
Having shown a few times what they are capable of (think back to those wins over Warrington), Wakefield’s challenge is to find some consistency, and they badly need to back up their first win over Castleford in 18 attempts by beating Catalans on Sunday, which I think they will do, by ten.
Toulouse are at Hull KR on Thursday, when Danny McGuire will be desperate for a response after that 46-4 loss at Wigan, and I reckon the Robins will prevail by 14.
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