Wakefield coach Chris Chester has promised nobody at Trinity is getting carried away by their phenomenal season so far – but he believes an unlikely top-four finish is “certainly achievable” in 2017.
Trinity, along with Sunday’s opponents Salford, are the surprise packages of the season so far, sitting fourth going into this weekend’s fixtures. However, while the Wakefield coach is remaining grounded, he believes his side can continue to change perceptions of the club this year and defy expectations.
He told TotalRL: “We’ve spoken about it a couple of times recently; it’s something that is certainly achievable and who’d have thought we’d be talking about Wakefield in the top four in June.
“It’s great for the sport and it’s great in general. It’s ours to lose; we’ve put ourselves four points in front of Wigan and a little bit further in front of Saints and we’re riding high at the moment – but we know how quickly things change. I promise we’re not getting carried away.”
Meanwhile, Chester wants the players who will be drafted in for Sunday’s trip to Salford to take their opportunity with both hands, as Super League’s two surprise packages prepare for a huge top-four battle this weekend.
Wakefield’s plans have been rocked by injuries to Jacob Miller, Adam Walker and Tinirau Arona – but Chester wants his fringe players to show they are worthy of the chance they will get.
“That’s exactly it, it’s the opportunity for someone else to shine,” he said.
“Sam (Williams) has had to wait patiently for an opportunity but he took it really well at the weekend.
“He came on and did really well and set up some tries, and we’ve got cover in our ranks. There’s also the option of putting Kyle Wood in there and Mikey Sio can play a bit at nine but while Milky is a big loss, it gives someone else an opportunity to step up.
“Losing both Adam Walker and Tinirau in the way we have is disappointing but there’s guys like Chris Annakin and Mitch Allgood who could come back in over the next couple of weeks.”
The game on Sunday will be the second time in a fortnight that Trinity and Salford meet; they do battle in the Challenge Cup later this month – and Chester is excited to test his side’s potential against Ian Watson’s Red Devils.
“It’s a big top four clash, isn’t it,” he joked.
“They’re going really well; they’ve got a settled group of players there and they’ve recruited really well. They’ve made two or three astute signings and they’ve got a nice balanced squad. They’ve got a big pack and exciting halves, they’re playing a good brand of rugby and it’s exciting to watch.”