Wakefield Wildcats: Chester out to replicate neighbours' rise up table
COACH CHRIS Chester wants Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to match what Castleford Tigers have achieved in recent seasons.
Tigers, who play host to Wakefield in the First Utility Super-8s tonight, have gone from being a team struggling at the foot of the table three years ago to one now competing on the fringe of the top four.
“I like their way of playing,” Chester said. “They throw the ball around and they are hard to defend against and a tough team to break down.
“Daryl Powell has got them playing some good football and they are the benchmark for us moving forward.”
Wakefield have lost all five league and cup games since their place in the Super-8s – and the top flight for 2017 – was confirmed in July.
They have four games left and Chester said: “This is an important game for us; we want to finish the season on a high and finish strongly. It would be nice to get a couple of wins before the end of the season and I think they [Wakefield’s players] deserve to.
“If we can get a couple of wins it will give us a lot of confidence and build some momentum for pre-season and for next year.”
Chester feels recent results should not detract from what has been a season of real progress, after Wakefield finished 11 points adrift at the bottom of Super League in 2015 and only avoided relegation by beating Championship side Bradford Bulls in the million pound match.
“It has been a great season for us,” he stressed. “It has been a disappointing last month or so, but we have had a lot of players unavailable.
“That has happened to every team in Super League at some point and fortunately for us our injuries have come once we were in the Super-8s, but to reach a Challenge Cup semi-final and get into the top eight has been a great achievement for a club that spends well under the salary cap.”
Ben Harrison is set to make his Wildcats debut tonight on loan from Warrington Wolves. Scott Anderson, Tom Johnstone, Mickael Simon, Matty Ashurst and Anthony Tupou are all back in contention, along with Jordan Crowther. Ben Jones-Bishop, Jason Walton, Michael Sio, James Batchelor and the suspended David Fifita drop out from the defeat at Widnes Vikings two weeks ago.
Castleford Tigers: from Chase, Cook, Crooks, Dorn, Flynn, Gale, Hampshire, O Holmes, Maher, McShane, Millington, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Patrick, Sevelio, Solomona, Springer, Webster.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: from Anderson, Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Crowther, Finn, Hall, Harrison, Johnstone, Jowitt, Lyne, Miller, Molloy, Moore, Scruton, Simon, A Tupou, B Tupou, Yates.
Referee: Gareth Hewer (Whitehaven).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.