Championship reaction: Daryl Powell praises ‘class’ Mason Lino as scrum half stars in Wakefield Trinity’s opening night victory over Bradford Bulls

Daryl Powell praised Mason Lino’s “class” efforts in Wakefield Trinity’s Championship victory over Bradford Bulls on the opening night of the 2024 season.
Mason Lino starred for Wakefield Trinity against Bradford Bulls on the opening night of the 2024 Championship season. Photo by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Mason Lino starred for Wakefield Trinity against Bradford Bulls on the opening night of the 2024 Championship season. Photo by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Mason Lino starred for Wakefield Trinity against Bradford Bulls on the opening night of the 2024 Championship season. Photo by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

The scrum half has gone from zero to hero in the space of five days - his risky pass punished by Featherstone Rovers’ Gareth Gale in golden point extra time during last Sunday’s Challenge Cup defeat a distant memory after playing a starring role Trinity’s 42-12 thrashing of Bradford as they started their Championship campaign with a bang.

On the man of the match’s performance, Powell said: “Mason Lino was class. He was man of the match and he responded from what happened last week. He gave the pass that lost the game last week.

“I thought he responded in a really solid way.”

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Lino was at the heart of everything good about Trinity’s performance, as a double from Josh Griffin and efforts from Jack Croft and Oliver Pratt gave the home side a commanding 26-8 lead half-time, before debutant Derrell Olpherts, the equally impressive Max Jowitt and Lachlan Walmsley got in on the action in the second half.

On the team’s overall display, Wakefield’s head coach said:

“Last week we were terrible but we stepped up this week. We started really well with our control. We have got to be pleased with what we did tonight in what was a tough game.

“I thought we did lots of really good things. Defensively we were pretty aggressive and until their last try I was pretty pleased with the scoreboard. I thought it was a good performance from us.

“I thought we handled the whole thing well. It was a great crowd, a great atmosphere and in tough conditions. Just before kick off it started belting it down which seems to be the way with our games at the moment but I was really pleased with the whole thing. It was a really good performance from the boys to start our Championship campaign off.

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“We scored, then they got a breakaway try and it was close for a period. Once we got our teeth into the game, for periods I thought we were outstanding. Second half, we could have scored four tries in that first set. There are loads of positives for us.

“There are a couple of bits we want to work on but, ultimately, we got a win at home. There was always going to be a bit of pressure tonight after losing last week at Featherstone and we responded in a really positive way.”

He added: “We have been pretty good defensively. The tries we conceded last week were disappointing but we were strong again tonight. Our drive defence where we were taking metres off Bradford with our physicality was excellent tonight and, overall, we can be really pleased.

“We played some smart stuff and we looked sharp. Max (Jowitt) at the back is showing what he is. He is a class player and him and Mason were standouts. I thought Liam Hood when he came on was exceptional, both with the ball and without the ball. And our pack was really good.

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Tremendous Wakefield Trinity thrash Bradford Bulls to start Championship season ...
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“It’s pleasing. Really solid performance and some really outstanding individual efforts in there. There’s loads of development and improvement in the team but it's a massively positive night.”

Olpherts only joined the side in midweek but impressed Powell despite his lack of gametime so far this year.

“We have lost a bit of punch in the back field so we felt like we needed that and Derrell became available. It was a good opportunity for us.

“I know him pretty well from having coached him before and I thought he was strong tonight. He hadn’t played for a few weeks and you could see that in some areas but he carried the ball strong and he scored that try.

“He is a Wakefield boy so it is a happy debut for him.”