Chris Chester keen to develop new approach for Wakefield Trinity against Wigan Warriors
CHRIS CHESTER and his fellow coaching staff at Wakefield Trinity have been determined to use their time in lockdown wisely.
Wakefield return to Super League action, over four months since their last league outing, against Wigan Warriors at Emerald Headingley on Sunday.
Trinity head into the game having won two of their opening five games in league competition, however they have been sure to get the most out of their unplanned hiatus.
Chester has assessed where it has gone wrong for Trinity in the last 12 months, after two consecutive top-five finishes in 2017 and 2018 was followed by a relegation scrap in 2019.
The threat of relegation has been taken off the table this campaign and Chester has been developing a different approach to games with his squad since returning to training.
The Australian NRL has been back in action since May 28 and Chester has even been in contact with some of the coaches from down under as Wakefield seek improvement.
“We have used the time, myself and the rest of the coaches, to assess where we have gone wrong over the last 12 months,” Chester said.
“We have watched a lot of the NRL and tried to pick some things up from there and spoke to some coaches. We are just trying to find a way to play that might suit us.
“The pressure has been lifted, it is a good opportunity to throw the ball around and I think we are a good footballing side when we do throw the ball around.
“Hopefully we can score some points. It is the defensive side of the game we need to be a lot better at. There is a good footy team in us and we need to make sure we are ready to go at the weekend.”
The revised fixture list has not been kind to Trinity. They restart their campaign against Wigan on Sunday before facing St Helens the following week.
A sixth-round Challenge Cup tie against Catalans Dragons is next on their agenda before a fixture against Warrington Wolves to finish the month. But after months of uncertainty, Chester is just happy to be preparing for a game.
“Just getting back out there is a bonus,” he said.
“We have had three weeks of trying to get the guys fit and trying to change a few things. It is nice that we finally have got a start date and we are looking forward to the game.
“The draw has not been so kind to us, certainly not in the first four to five weeks. We just want to get out there and have a good crack at it.”
Chester is anticipating a strong forward battle with the Warriors, who sat top of the Super League table before lockdown.
The Trinity coach wants his side to be better physically than they were before the season was put on hold but admits it is hard to prepare for how teams will play after four months without a fixture.
He said: “They are physical, they have always been physical.
“Shaun Wane had them playing a certain way and the way that Adrian Lam had them playing at the start of the year was pretty forward dominating. We have just got to make sure that we are ready to match them physically.
“They are probably going to change the way they play and with so much time off you can’t really prepare for a team.
“We are going to change the way we play and I am pretty sure that Wigan and everybody else will want to change the way they play. I think physically we have got to be better than we were in those first five games.”
Trinity have no new injury concerns heading into Sunday’s contest, with Joe Arundel, who is recovering from an ACL problem, the only player unavailable.
“We are ok at the minute, there is only really Joe Arundel that is not going to be with us,” Chester added.
“We have had a couple of guys over the last seven days who have been filtered back into training.
"We have got a very competitive squad, who are challenging each other on a daily basis and 30-odd guys who all want to play in that first game.
“The competition has been really good and in terms of the injuries we are looking ok.”
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