ONLY THEIR most optimistic supporters would have expected Wakefield Trinity to be third in Betfred Super League after 12 rounds, particularly with their horrendous injury list, but winger Ben Jones-Bishop reckons they could have been even closer to the top-two.
Ahead of Sunday’s second visit of the season to Hull, Trinity are two points behind Warrington Wolves and a further six adrift of leaders St Helens.
But Jones-Bishop insisted: “Within ourselves we know there’s a couple of games where we could have jagged a couple more wins.”
He said: “The table is very congested at the minute, but we will take it week by week and just keep going until we get some bodies back.
“Then there’ll be a big selection headache for Chezzy [coach Chris Chester] because of the way the boys who have come in have performed.
“We have got a lot of players out and a lot of them are starters.
We’re down to the bare bones, but we are a close bunch and we work hard for one another.Ben Jones-Bishop
“The guys who are coming in are putting their best foot forward and putting in great performances.”
Trinity’s injury situation has eased only slightly since Monday’s against-the-odds win over Leeds Rhinos with hookers Tyler Randell (shoulder) and Kyle Wood (sternum) being named in Sunday’s initial 19-man squad.
That leaves nine senior players on the casualty list and assessing the size of the challenge ahead, Jones-Bishop said: “We’re down to the bare bones, but we are a close bunch and we work hard for one another.
“We can go there with some confidence and hopefully we’ll come up with a good victory like we did earlier on in the year.
“I think that’s testament to how far we’ve come, but we’re still working on an 80-minute performance.
“We showed what we can do in the second half against Castleford and against Leeds we scored a few long-range tries, but we didn’t have a play-the-ball in their 20 until the 65th minute.
“We showed pretty good resilience there, but now it’s about backing it up.
“We’ve been looked after pretty well this week and it’s a Sunday turnaround so we will go there confident, knowing if we can keep hold of the ball we can challenge any team.”
Hull are fourth, behind Trinity on points difference.
They crushed Hull KR 56-12 on Good Friday, but were hammered 62-16 at St Helens three days later.
“We will expect their best,” Jones-Bishop stressed.
“On their day they are a good team and they are playing at home as well. They have got some very influential players.
“We have had a look at them, but ultimately we’ll focus on ourselves and keep trying to get that 80-minute performance.”
Jones-Bishop had to wait until the round 10 win over Wigan Warriors earlier this month to score his first try of the season.
He bagged a brace that evening and also crossed against Leeds and admitted: “It has been a while, it [getting over the whitewash] took some doing, but I am just happy to do my part in the team.
“The last few years my game has been a lot more about helping the team get out of yardage.
“With Bill [Tupou] and Tom [Johnstone] missing, they are massive go-to players for us so the right-edge is seeing a bit more of it, which is nice.
“But as long as we are picking up the two points that’s all that matters.”
Former Wakefield trio Josh Griffin, Gareth Ellis and Danny Washbrook could return for Hull, along with Danny Houghton, Mickey Paea, Jack Logan and Connor Wynne.
Dropping out from the side beaten at Saints are Jordan Thompson, Jez Litten, Cameron Scott, Ratu Naulago and Mark Minichiello
Hull FC: from Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Hadley, Westerman, Connor, Green, Matongo, Fash, Manu, Paea, Logan, Washbrook, Ellis, Wynne.
Wakefield Trinity: from Annakin, Arona, Caton-Brown, Crowther, Fifita, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Kershaw, King, Kirmond, Kopczak, Lyne, Pauli, Randell, Reynolds, Wood.
Referee: Liam Moore (Wigan).
Kick-off: Sunday, 3pm.