Championship preview: Daryl Powell insists Wakefield Trinity ‘need to step up’ as they prepare to open league campaign against Bradford Bulls

Wakefield Trinity begin their first season back in rugby league’s second tier since 1998 with an intriguing West Yorkshire derby at home to Bradford Bulls on Friday, March 15 (kick off 8pm).
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The club’s 25-year stay in Super League came to an abrupt end last season, finishing rock bottom after only gaining four victories in 27 games.

However, new coach Daryl Powell has inserted a new lease of life into the club - backed by new owner Matt Ellis - and has already guided them to an 1895 Cup semi-final, against Friday evening’s visitors, at Odsal in May.

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Powell’s unblemished start to 2024, which began with five wins from cup games, though, was halted by local rivals Featherstone Rovers, 14-10, in last Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie at the Millennium Stadium.

Wakefield Trinity head coach Daryl Powell. Photo by John Victor.Wakefield Trinity head coach Daryl Powell. Photo by John Victor.
Wakefield Trinity head coach Daryl Powell. Photo by John Victor.

And Powell knows his Wakey side, who are odds-on favourites to return back to Super League come the end of the season, needs to be better if they are to start with a win against the Bulls.

He said: “That was our first real stiff test (at Featherstone) and we didn’t handle it well. The Championship is a priority now but we have also got the 1895 Cup and that is a realistic prospect for us.

“But we aren’t going to win much playing like we did against Featherstone. The boys don’t need me to tell them that, although I have done already. We just need to step up and find the team that we are.

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“Some of the boys who we have recruited need to show us what they are really about now we are in the nuts and bolts of the Championship.

“I have been here before. You do not get many easy games at this level and we have to understand that very quickly.”