The Garry Schofield Column: Mark Applegarth facing tough job at Wakefield Trinity

Good luck to Mark Applegarth in his new role as coach of Wakefield Trinity.

He’s certainly served his time in preparation for the job, having played for the club and had various positions in the coaching set-up, including working alongside Willie Poching, the man he’s replaced.

But I can’t help think that Trinity could bring in Wayne Bennett – if they wanted to send their supporters to sleep! – or Kristian Woolf, and they’d struggle to get a tune out of that squad.

There are some gems at the club – just look at Lewis Murphy – but there have been far too many journeymen, players who have the occasional great game but struggle to produce the goods on a regular basis.

As I said in last week’s column, it’s become far too easy for a club to blame the coach and ignore the part played, or not played, by those out on the pitch.

It was the same under Chris Chester – Wakefield have been far too inconsistent.

I remember them beating Warrington in successive matches back in March and fans were talking abut them reaching the play-offs and making the Challenge Cup final.

Then reality kicked in, and by July, they were bottom of the table and having to scrap for survival (and by the way, those celebration antics after the Hull KR game were way over the top in my view, because a quick lap of the pitch and acknowledgement of the fans would have been far more suitable).

The worrying thing for Wakefield supporters is that a squad that struggled for large parts of this season is now down on players with so far few signs of new ones coming in, meaning Mark is going to have to be some sort of Rugby League alchemist to stave off another flirtation with relegation in 2023.

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