Wakefield Trinity star Jay Pitts ready to make use of big-game experience

Back home: Wakefield Trinity's Jay Pitts. Picture: Tony JohnsonBack home: Wakefield Trinity's Jay Pitts. Picture: Tony Johnson
Back home: Wakefield Trinity's Jay Pitts. Picture: Tony Johnson
Jay Pitts knows a thing or two about stepping up on the big occasion.

The Wakefield Trinity forward has felt the contrasting emotions of winning and losing finals but feels those experiences have set him in good stead when it comes to mounting challenges for silverware with his home-town club.

The Ossett-born player was in the Hull FC squad when the Black and Whites were beaten in the 2013 Challenge Cup final by Wigan Warriors.

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Hull had beaten holders Warrington Wolves in the semi-finals but failed to score a point in the showpiece at Wembley as they lost the fixture 16-0.

Five years later, Pitts captained London Broncos in the ‘Million Pound Game’ against Toronto Wolfpack in Canada.

The Broncos went into the game as huge underdogs but won a tryless match 4-2 to beat big-spending Toronto and earn promotion into Super League.

“It is totally different emotions, it is hard to put into words,” said Pitts of being on both ends of big-game results.

“The Challenge Cup final was heart-breaking.

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“Personally, in that game I wasn’t happy with my performance and I think I let the occasion get to me.

“But not many people can say they have played in a Challenge Cup final so, on that side, I was really proud and my family were really proud.

“But I was gutted to lose and disappointed I wasn’t able to play my best rugby.

“But in the Toronto game, that was something special because we were written off.

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“It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch and the high-scoring match that everybody wanted to see.

“But anybody watching could see the intensity and what it meant to everybody. That was really special.

“To be able to lead the boys and get the win over there to get London back into Super League, that was massive.

“It is something that will live with me forever and something I am really proud of.

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“I have learnt from the Challenge Cup defeat the hardest and, hopefully, that has put in me in good stead going into bigger games and I think that did help going into Toronto.”

Pitts started his career with Wakefield, making his debut with Trinity in 2008 before joining Leeds Rhinos ahead of the 2010 campaign.

Stints at Hull, Bradford Bulls and London followed before he returned to Wakefield last autumn, an opportunity which he ‘jumped’ at.

“I have always kept an eye on Wakefield. I had always had ambitions to come back to Wakefield and play because it is my home-town club and where it all started for me,” he added.

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“To get the opportunity to come back was something that I jumped at. It has worked out great for me.

“I have got a family now and being back home there is a lot more help around. It has only benefited me and I think it will benefit my rugby as well.”

Pitts is one of a number of new faces in the Wakefield squad this campaign.

Trinity started the Super League season with two wins from five games – losing one on golden point to to Hull – and a Challenge Cup fifth round victory over Bradford before the sport was suspended by the coronavirus outbreak.

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“There have been a few changes to the club but everyone there are good blokes more than anything,” added Pitts. “We all get on really well and we had a good pre-season. It is has not been a tough transition. It has not been hard to turn up and train. I have enjoyed every single minute of it.

“It has been seamless for me. All the lads are great and we work hard and are just looking forward to getting back.”

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