Halifax Panthers v Wakefield Trinity: Boss Willie Poching expects step up in second pre-season game as key players come in for Super League side

Coach Willie Poching is expecting “a bit more” from his Wakefield Trinity side in Sunday's pre-season game at Halifax Panthers.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 10:08 pm

Poching was pleased with the way a young team performed in a 34-6 defeat at Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day.

But - with more experienced players on show this weekend, including new signings Tom Lineham, Jai Whitbread and Sadiq Adebiyi - he wants to see increased signs of how his team will play when Betfred Super League begins in four weeks’ time.

Poching said: “I am excited to give everyone a run.

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Trinity coach Willie Poching. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“We had three friendlies planned and I planned to give everyone at least participation in two games.

“By the end of this everyone will have played, unless injured.

“There’s a few more senior players out there [tomorrow], especially to start with, so we are looking for a bit more out of our boys.

“We’ve done a bit more training, with a bit more specificity to what we want as far as our planning goes, so you’ll get a better look at what we are trying to put together.”

Trinity have stepped up training since their Christmas break. Picture by Tony Johnson.

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Poching was on the coaching staff at Warrington Wolves when Simon Grix - Scott’s brother, who is Panthers’ team boss - was there and reckons a competitive hit-out will benefit both clubs.

Halifax, who have signed centre Joe Arundel and hooker Kyle Wood from Trinity’s 2021 squad, finished third in the Championship last season.

“They will be challenging this year, they’ll be there or thereabouts,” Poching predicted.

“They have a team full of experienced, ex-Super League players, across the park.

“I speak to Simon Grix quite often, we stay in contact and I know what type of team we are facing.

“It is chance to celebrate Scott Grix and the service he’s done for the game and also give a friend’s team a challenge, knowing his team will give us a challenge.”

Wakefield Trinity (at Halifax): from Jowitt, Johnstone, Lyne, Lineham, Miller, Battye, Hood, Pitts, Whitbread, Batchelor, Gaskell, Kay, Walker, Aydin, Adebiyi, Bowes, O’Donovan, Murphy, Shaw, Hall, Minns, Davetanivalu.

Referee: Nick Bennett (Sheffield).

Kick-off: Sunday, 3pm.

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