WAKEFIELD Trinity’s Danny Brough feels the club are facing “mini Grand Finals” for the rest of the season as they attempt to reach the top-five play-offs.
With a dozen games still to go it shows just how much consistent good work needs to be done.
The run starts tomorrow as Chris Chester’s side – on a four-game losing sequence – head to Salford Red Devils.
Trinity will replace Castleford Tigers in fifth spot if they do prosper, but also know Salford will claim their place in sixth if they lose. Furthermore, at the start of this round the West Yorkshire club – who have finished fifth in each of the last two seasons – were just two points above ninth-placed Huddersfield Giants, showing how congested the whole battle is.
“Every game is like a mini Grand Final for us,” said veteran scrum-half Brough.
“I think Warrington and St Helens have been the outstanding teams, but outside that everything is quite close.
We could do with a couple of results going our way but we need to perform ourselves and get the results.Danny Brough
“We could do with a couple of results going our way, but we need to perform ourselves and get the results.
“The rest of the season is must-win games for us. It would mean a hell of a lot to the fans and the club to get top five again this year.
“It is something that the lads are striving for.
“It is not through a lack of hard work; we have had a bit of misfortune, but that is part and parcel of rugby league.”
Wakefield’s injury list has had a debilitating effect and Salford – who have also lost their last four contests – will certainly be targeting them tomorrow.
Brough, 36, said: “It is a very tough game; Salford are a dogged team.
“You can tell by their last three results; they have only lost by two or three points.
“They are very well-structured and have some great attacking flair as well.
“We have got to be aware of that, try and meet the pack front on as well and watch that (Jackson) Hastings, (Robert) Lui and (Niall) Evalds don’t come on the back of that and cause us problems.”
In charismatic Australian stand-off Hastings – a target of both Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos for 2020 – there are certainly similarities to the dare and adventure of Yorkshireman Brough in his younger days.
Their battle should be entertaining, to say the least, but Brough simply said: “Every week you try to outplay your opposite number.
“That is what I will try and do this week and I am sure that he will try and do the same.”
This is Brough’s third game back after a broken thumb, but Chester has been hit with more selection issues.
He lost back-rows Matty Ashurst and James Batchelor to injuries in last week’s 10-0 loss to Leeds.
Wakefield are set to give a debut to teenage prop Titus Gwaze after recalling him from a loan spell with Oldham, while second rower Pauli Pauli will play against the team with whom he has spent the last month on loan.
Lee Kershaw is recalled in place of the departed Junior Sa’u, who has returned to Salford.