HE’S DAVE Fifita, he does what he wants.
That was Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester’s response to discovering a new attacking weapon.
The 26-6 Coral Challenge Cup win over Widnes Vikings saw the big prop – known more for his blockbusting runs – score a try off his own kick for the second successive game, taking his total of touchdowns this year to seven.
Chester, however, insisted that is not part of the plan. The coach felt Fifita’s try which gave Trinity a 12-6 lead just after the break “changed the momentum of the game”, but, when asked if the big prop is being encouraged to kick, he insisted: “He does what he wants!
“I am not going to tell him what he can or can’t do because he won’t listen to me anyway. He is devastating when he gets the ball, but I would rather he left the kicking to the kickers. He has come up with two good results off kicks, I just hope he doesn’t think now he can do it every week.”
Fifita is flying high in the Steve Prescott Man of Steel voting and signed a new contract last month.
“He is a special lad,” Chester added of Trinity’s star asset. “He can be challenging at times, but I know how to manage him. He winds people up, certainly the other members of our staff, but he’s a great character and, joking aside, he has been great for us. I love him to death. He’s always the first to come to me when he’s had a bad game and I make sure I let him know he has had a bad game, but I am led to believe his brother [Andrew, who plays for Cronulla Sharks] is even worse!
“Can you imagine those two playing at Belle Vue in a few years’ time? He has improved year on year, he’s been excellent for us and he’s a larger than life character. He’s here for the next three years, but I will be ready for a break from him come October!”
The quarter-final draw handed Trinity an away day at St Helens after they held off gutsy hosts Huddersfield Giants 22-16 yesterday.
Chester was in charge of Hull KR when they lost 50-0 to Leeds Rhinos at Wembley four years ago and he said: “The club has been in the doldrums for 30 years and it will be good if we get to be involved in the big games.
“I still have nightmares over that 2015 final. Hopefully we can get there with this group of players because I certainly think they are better than the group we took to Wembley four years ago.”
Chester admitted Trinity will need to improve on last week’s performance to progress. Trinity staged the fixture on Friday – rather than Sunday – to give themselves extra time to prepare for this Saturday’s Betfred Super League game at London Broncos, where they lost in round one.
“We looked a really, really tired team,” Chester added. “There’s some blokes who have played pretty much every minute of every game.
“With the injury crisis we’ve got at the minute we can’t rotate anybody. Woody [Kyle Wood] played another 80 minutes and he was out on his feet. We are hopeful Tyler Randell is back this week and Anthony England and I am pretty confident Jacob Miller will be back.
“We need Milky [Miller] out there.
“I thought we lacked a bit of direction and he will help us get around the field.”
Mason Caton-Brown (hamstring) and Ben Jones-Bishop (dead leg) picked up knocks against Widnes, but neither is believed to be serious.