WEMBLEY is off the agenda for another year, but Wakefield Trinity are well in the race for a top-four finish in Betfred Super League, head of rugby John Kear reckons.
Trinity suffered a 30-6 drubbing at Salford Red Devils in last week’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final, but are fifth in the table, just one point behind this Friday’s hosts, Hull.
Kear admitted the Cup exit was a huge disappointment, but he stressed Trinity’s season is still alive.
“We are in a really good position in the league,” Kear insisted. “Obviously, on Friday we’ve got to go to the KCOM Stadium and face Hull and that could take us above them if we win, but conversely should Hull FC win it will give them a good cushion against us so it’s a massive game for us.
“The players recovered on Friday and were given the weekend off – which they thoroughly deserved after this hectic period – and we were in early on Monday to start preparing for the challenge of Hull FC.
“We think we can finish in the top six and we’ve set a points tally we believe we need for that, but if you achieve the top six you are not far off the top four.
“You never know what’s around the corner. At the minute, the top five seem to have a bit of a buffer against the team in sixth and down so it is up to us to maintain that and while doing that knock some top-four teams off and, hopefully, clamber into there.”
Kear admitted Trinity will need to do the basics better this week. Of the Cup defeat he said: “We played a team that were far better than us in all the processes of rugby league. They looked after the ball better than us, they kicked the ball better than us and they defended better than us.”
Trinity forward Matty Ashurst has been charged with making grade A dangerous contact on Salford’s Ben Murdoch-Masila in the 21st minute of last week’s game.