They could not have had a tougher draw, but Aussie forward Tyler Randell is upbeat about Wakefield Trinity’s chances in their Coral Challenge Cup quarter-final at St Helens on Saturday.
Trinity will go into the game sitting sixth in Betfred Super League – a massive 14 points behind table-topping Saints – and on the back of successive defeats, including a 25-18 setback against Catalans Dragons at the Magic Weekend in Liverpool.
To add to their problems, in-form prop David Fifita limped off late in that game and is set to miss the Cup tie.
Saints have lost just once this year and are unbeaten at home, making it the toughest-possible draw for Trinity, but Randell insisted they will relish an opportunity to focus on themselves, play their own style and take the game to the Cup favourites.
“We will go there and play the way we want to play,” Randell said.
“It’s Challenge Cup, it’s not a Super League game so we might be able to chance our arm a bit more – especially coming up against Saints who are the best team.
“We can’t be trying to hang on.”
Saints were in red hot form when they crushed Castleford Tigers 36-16 at Anfield two days ago, but – according to Randell – underdog status will suit Trinity.
The league meeting between the teams at Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue, in February ended 24-18 in Saints’ favour, but Wakefield pushed them all the way and the winning try came two minutes from time.
Randell pointed out: “Since I’ve been here we seem to play better against the top teams.
“We sort of rise for those games and it’s going to be no different on Saturday.
“They are sitting at the top for a reason and have been for the last couple of years.
“But we always play good against them so we are looking forward to it.”
Trinity will need to begin this weekend’s game much better than they have their last two.
They lost 42-34 at rock bottom London Broncos after trailing 42-6 and were 12-0 down at half-time against Catalans three days ago.
“We came out and started well in the second half, but you need to start well and that way you’re not chasing games,” Randell admitted.
“We got in front [against Catalans], but we couldn’t close the game out.
“We just needed to manage the game better, but at least we gave ourselves a chance.
“We’ve got seven days to get over that loss and improve for this week and hopefully put in a good performance.
“It was disappointing to lose down in London and then to lose again.
“At least we gave ourselves a chance and we were in it right until the last couple of minutes.
“It was definitely a lot better response than last week, but still you need to be winning games.”
Veteran half-back Danny Brough will have pins removed from a broken thumb on Thursday and could feature against Saints after a seven-game layoff.
That would give Trinity a huge lift for the big game.
“We’ve had so many injuries, so when we get someone back they are always keen and eager to get in,” Randell said.
“He will bring us that energy we’ll need.
“It is always good to get players back.”