Wakefield Trinity coach Willie Poching hails rookies' effort in pre-season defeat at Leeds Rhinos

Wakefield Trinity's reserves have proved they can step into the first team if needed, coach Willie Poching reckons.

Monday, 27th December 2021, 5:47 pm

Trinity fielded a makeshift side in the 34-6 Boxing Day defeat at Leeds Rhinos and Poching felt young players, including his son Kobe, “did themselves proud”.

The coach said: “Lewis Murphy was outstanding on the wing and he is going to get better and better. He has the raw pace that’s invaluable for a team.

“Kobe, Oli Farrar, Charlie Abraham and Robbie Butterworth - who started at full-back - got called up from reserve grade and did themselves proud.

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Triity coach Willie Poching. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

“It is heartening for us as a coaching staff, but also the group that if needed sometime during the season we can go to those depths.”

Playing in front of a near-10,000 crowd will prove vital experience for the rookies, Poching added.

“They haven’t really done a pre-season with us,” he said. “I have been monitoring how they’ve trained with the academy group and they have all performed well and given their best. That’s why I had no issue giving them a crack [on Boxing Day].

“I was always of the mindset that whatever happened, they were going to emerge better for the experience, for being at a stadium like Headingley, against a quality side like Rhinos, in front of a packed crowd. They will take a lot from those experiences.”