Wakefield Trinity v Castleford Tigers: Hosts' coach Chris Chester confident of ending long barren run against near-neighbours in Super League derby
Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester reckons the time is right to end Castleford Tigers’ derby dominance.
Trinity are on a 14-game losing run against their near-neighbours, since a 24-22 win at the Jungle in round one of the 2015 season.
Only Reece Lyne and Jacob Miller remain on Trinity’s playing staff from that game, though Paul McShane and Dan Smith - who are now at Tigers - also featured for them.
Chester has never beaten Castleford as Trinity boss, but insisted he is confident that can change at Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue, on Wednesday.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a regret, because all games are as important as each other, but it is certainly frustrating,” Chester admitted.
“We’re certainly not losing any sleep over it, we’ve picked a team that’s more than capable of getting a result this week.
“I am really confident going into this game, as Daryl [Powell, Tigers’ coach] will be.
“We haven’t discussed it as a group, sometimes you get bogged down by these kind of things and I don’t want it to be in the back of players’ minds.
“I just want them to focus on what’s important - which is individually being the best version of themselves.
“If they can be, we will give ourselves a really good chance.”
Trinity’s England winger Tom Johnstone will make his comeback after a two-month layoff due to concussion.
Keepi Tanginoa, who missed last Friday’s 38-18 defeat at Warrington Wolves because of a dead leg, is also included in Wakefield’s initial 21-man squad, Matty Ashurst is available following a two-game ban and Jordan Crowther could return from a four-match injury absence.
“We have got everybody back and we’re playing some good, attractive footy,” Chester added.
“I think we’re in a really good spot.
“We should go into this game really confident.”
Wakefield Trinity: from Jowitt, Johnstone, Tupou, Lyne, Kay, Miller, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Arona, Ashurst, Tanginoa, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, Batchelor, Crowther, Arundel, B Walker, Aydin, Kershaw.
Castleford Tigers: from Evalds, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Holmes, Massey, Griffin, Foster, O’Neill, Hepi, Sene-Lefao, Smith, Matagi, Turner, Peachey, Martin, O’Brien, Qareqare.
Kick-off: Wednesday, 7.45pm.