Wakefield Wildcats: Chester still proud of his players after heavy defeat

Chris Chester
Chris Chester

LIGHTNING DID not strike twice, but coach Chris Chester remained “proud” of his Wakefield Trinity Wildcats players after their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Warrington Wolves.

A year ago Chester masterminded Hull KR’s shock win over Warrington at the same stage of the competition. This time there was a gulf in class as Warrington ran in 10 tries to win 56-12 and book a Wembley date with Hull FC.

It was a one-sided contest after Wakefield had taken an early lead and Chester admitted his injury-hit side were well below their best, but he could not fault their effort.

Flanked in the post-match press conference by his daughter Isobel, Chester reflected: “We tried hard all game. It wasn’t effort that beat us, Warrington were far too good for us today.

“They were far too quick and once they get a roll on they are very hard to stop. We weren’t great, but I thought effort-wise they never gave in and I am a proud coach today.”

Wakefield were without eight first-choice players, including props Anthony England, Mickael Simon and Scott Anderson, and Chester said: “They got a lot of joy through the middle of us. We are a bit depleted in the middle with personnel missing and we struggled at times to really slow down that ruck without giving any penalties away. Fair play to Warrington, they were a little bit too quick for us, a lot more patient with the ball and a lot better team from one to 17.”

Wakefield have already secured their Super League status for next year and Chester reckons, despite the Cup defeat, it has been a successful campaign.

“There’s a lot of people in that dressing room who are very disappointed,” he said. “But we have come a long way in a short space of time.

“We have got a Super League campaign now, we’ve got seven games to look forward to and try and cause some upsets. Although it has been a tough day at the office we have a lot to be proud of with what we have achieved as a group.”

Ben Jones-Bishop and Danny Kirmond both returned from injury, but are unlikely to be fit for Friday’s trip to the other beaten semi-finalists Wigan Warriors.