Castleford boss: Chester deserves a real pat on the back

Chris Chester.
Chris Chester.
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Wakefield Wildcats head coach Chris Chester has received praise from his rival coach across town at Castleford Tigers.

Cas boss Daryl Powell believes Chester has done an outstanding job since taking over at Wakefield and deserves great acclaim for steering them into the Super Eights for the first time.

He said: “Wakefield have been great. Since Chris Chester took over they’ve surprised everybody.

“They play in a free way, they are shifting the ball a fair bit.

“The half-backs have been consistent all year, which has been big for them. With the forward pack the signing of Fifita has given them an extra edge and he’s a big handful.

“They look like they are really enjoying playing.

“They’ve done well and it will be a real tough game for us.

“There’s bragging rights at stake for finishes higher between us, but they’ve got a semi-final a week away so their season could go to pretty special heights.

“You’ve got to give Chris Chester a real pat on the back for that.

“Clearly the players have done well, but he’s grabbed the whole thing, tidied it all up and they are challenging everybody they play.

“They challenged St Helens at home and only just got beat there, they came very close to winning at Wigan and it was a little bit of a heartbreaker for them and they beat Catalans away. I know they were down on troops, but still, they look like a team that don’t fear anybody - they just go and play.

“The half-backs are playing consistently. Jacob Miller looks really sharp and Finny is the anchor to them like he was with us.

“They are really well balanced and have got some good young players coming through in the system and they will be difficult to beat.”

Powell is expecting to come up against much stronger opponents mentally than the ones the Tigers easily beat in pre-season and in the early weeks of Super League.

He added: “They are a very different side to the one we beat at the start of the season.

“Obviously they’ve got some different players in there, but the vast majority is the same and they’ve got a whole different mentality.

“We were at full strength when we played them at our place and we were completely dominant. But since then they’ve grown massively so we know it will be tough and we have got to play well.

“We’ve got to improve defensively, we’ll have to do that because they will challenge us and they are a bit of a handful with the ball.

“They’ve got a fair bit of ball movement in them and have some threats, particularly Fifita, the way he’s carrying the ball he’s a real handful.”