BETTER BALL control will get Wakefield Trinity out of relegation danger, versatile back Ryan Hampshire believes.
Trinity are ninth in the table – two points clear of bottom club London Broncos – after a run of only one win from the last 11 Betfred Super League rounds.
Wakefield travel to the team immediately below them, Hull KR, on Sunday for a huge four-pointer.
That is followed by home fixtures against fourth-placed Wigan Warriors and London either side of a trip to Warrington Wolves, who are currently second.
Even with Trinity’s fate still in their own hands, it is going to be a tense final month of the season, but Hampshire is adamant they can pick up the results they need to take the pressure off, if they do the basics better.
“We have got a fantastic team,” he insisted.
“Before this run, we were third in the league and in a [Challenge Cup] quarter-final.
“This is sport, these things happen to every team and it’s Wakefield’s turn now.
“We have just got to keep hold of the ball more and give ourselves a better chance.”
Both teams committed a host of errors in last Sunday’s game, but Hull made better use of the opportunities Wakefield handed them.
“In rugby, a lot of it’s about the big things, but I think it’s the little things that are killing us, like dropping the ball and turning it over in the wrong positions,” Hampshire said.
“Even if we can keep hold of the ball for three more sets and do a little kick into the corner I am sure we will be all right.
“If we have better ball control that means less defending and we can keep the opposition in their own half, so it is nice and simple.”
Trinity have worked hard in their last two games, a 26-6 loss at St Helens and the defeat yesterday, but paid the price for a poor spell in the first half both times. Saints scored three tries in eight minutes to take a 20-2 lead into half-time, but there was little to choose between the sides for the rest of the match.
Against Hull, Wakefield scored first, through Hampshire, but conceded four unanswered tries from the 19th to the 30th minutes and another early in the second period before 10 late points gave them some consolation.
“We had plenty of possession, we just couldn’t do anything with it,” said Hampshire, who began at full-back before swapping places with new loan signing Morgan Escare and switching to left-wing.
“It is frustrating, but we have got to have a look at that and see where we can fix it and get some points.
“We need to improve this week against Hull KR and, if we just keep hold of the ball, I am sure we’ll be fine.”
Trinity, Huddersfield Giants and Hull KR are separated by points difference only and Hampsire admits Sunday is a “massive game”. He said: “You have got to be realistic with what’s going on. It is a must-win game pretty much.
“Some people say one win would probably do it [be enough to keep Trinity up], but I think we have got to go for at least two.”
On-loan Hull prop Chris Green will be available for the trip to KCOM Craven Park and fellow forwards George King and Anthony England could return to the side in time for the crunch clash against KR.