Wakefield coach Chris Chester says his side are relishing, not dreading, the role of being favourites for games in 2018 as they aim to make it two from two at the start of the new season tonight.
Trinity host Salford live on Sky Sports in Friday’s only Super League game this week – and just like last week against Hull KR, Chester’s men head into the game heavy favourites.
It is a far cry from when Chester arrived a little under two years ago in terms of expectation levels surrounding Wakefield: but he believes his group can cope with the pressure.
He said: “We’ve spoken about changing perceptions of Wakefield, and we did that last year. We’ve been favourites in the first couple of games and that’s new to us, but we’re enjoying it.
“We’re enjoying the respect we’re being given and it’s a nicer position to be in. But as I say, nobody is getting carried away; the season isn’t won in the first round, but it’s always nice to start well. We want four wins from our first five games and if we do, that sets us up very nicely indeed.”
Chester also insists that despite a comfortable enough win against the Robins last weekend, Trinity are capable of much, much more this season.
“We’re certainly not the finished article yet,” he said. “I don’t think we get out of second gear last Friday; yet even then, it was a pretty convincing victory with six tries to one. I think we did enough in that first half and it’s pleasing enough.”
And after losing their opening two games last season, Chester is fully aware of the significance of going two from two to begin a campaign.
“The start is really important, because you don’t want to be chasing your tails,” he explained.
“We had to do it the hard way last year and you need a run after that to get you in contention. If we can do that in the first five weeks, it sets us up nicely for the Super 8s – but we know there’s a lot of rugby to be played between now and then. We’ve got to make sure we’re not complacent, because we’re now a team people will want to come here to knock off.”