Chris Chester hails Joe Westerman's early-season form for Wakefield Trinity
Wakefield Trinity chief Chris Chester has hailed Joe Westerman as his side’s best player so far this season.
The forward has played in all five of Trinity’s Super League games this year. Wakefield will aim to pick up their first win of the season when they travel to Emerald Headingley Stadium to take on Leeds Rhinos tomorrow night.
They lost 28-22 against the same opposition in their opening game of the season and are one of only two sides, along with Leigh Centurions, without a victory in 2021.
“I think Joe has been our best player so far this season. He has led the team really well. He’s a threat with the ball, and a great organiser,” said Chester.
“He has changed his game a little bit. He used to think about running first rather than creating. But now he’s got the balance right.”
Chester feels that the return of Kyle Wood has allowed half-back Mason Lino to settle in better at Belle Vue.
Lino was signed on a three-year deal from NRL side Newcastle Knights and Chester feels that along with Wood and Westerman, he can help to turn Trinity’s fortunes around.
“Mase is becoming more prominent,” added Chester.
“It’s no coincidence that he has looked better since Kyle came back into the fold.
“It’s difficult for a half-back when makeshift nines are in there. Woody has that touch of quality. He has good deception and knows when to pick the short sides.
“Mase has been getting the ball in his hands more often and has been working really hard on his kicking game.”
Matty Ashurst has been named in Trinity’s 21-man squad for Friday’s Super League fixture with Leeds Rhinos.
Head coach Chris Chester remains without a number of key players, however, with Tom Johnstone learning this week that he is still not ready to return to action after failing to overcome a head injury.
Leeds will welcome back half-back Luke Gale, in a welcome piece of news for their head coach Richard Agar. Wakefield loanee Olly Ashall-Bott, who scored on his debut against Catalans Dragons is involved again.
Max Jowitt could be deployed at half-back with Jacob Miller and Ryan Hampshire sidelined.
Leeds will still be without Zane Tetevano and Richie Myler with the pair serving suspensions. Rob Lui also misses out as he continues to battle with a quad injury that has sidelined him all season.