Chester: We want to finish strong

Wakefield boss Chris Chester.
Wakefield boss Chris Chester.

Trinity boss Chris Chester insists that his side have had a “decent” season without being “great.”

Wakefield open their Super 8s campaign with a trip to fifth-placed Hull FC tonight, who they hammered 72-10 last month.

The former Hull FC forward admitted that the top four is probably out of Wakefield’s reach, with an eight-point gap between them and fourth-placed Warrington Wolves.

However, Chester wants to see his side finish the season strongly and believes that his team have the ability to replicate last year’s fifth-placed finish.

“We wanted to be in with a shout of the top four, like we were this time last year,” said Chester.

“Having said that, you look at what other teams are doing in regards to spending.

“For example, Catalans have spent plenty of money and brought in two really good players and are starting to play very well.

“Warrington last year missed out on the top eight and they have spent a hell of a lot money on transfer fees as well.”

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“When you put everything into context, I think we have had a decent year without being great.

“There are lots of things that I would do differently and during games if we had done things differently we could have come away with some more results.

“We lost six or seven games by less than a try and a goal.

“We are the second best attacking team in the competition and the fifth best defensive team but we finished seventh over the round of 23.

“We have obviously not got a few things right this year but the important thing for myself, the staff and the players is that we learn from that.

“We have set some targets in house about what we want to achieve over these next seven weeks, realistically the top four is out of our reach.

“But we want to cause a few upsets and emulate what we achieved last year, which was a top-five finish.

Wakefield travel to Hull after a week’s rest following the Challenge Cup semi-finals last weekend.

Chester feels that the 17-man squad that he has named to face the Black and Whites is the strongest team he has had available this year.

Keegan Hirst has made way for Anthony England who returns to the 17 following an injury lay-off.

Chester said: “It is probably the strongest 17 that we have been able to put out all season.

“That is how we are going to treat these next seven games, go with our strongest side.

“There is a lot to look forward too and I am looking forward to going to the KCOM Stadium, I haven’t won there for a while so it would be nice to get a result.”

On Wakefield’s last visit to Hull they were undone by a 50-metre drop goal from Mark Sneyd as they were beaten 27-26 on Easter Monday.

It was a different story at Trinity, however, as Chester’s side won 72-10 - racking up their highest-ever points total and equalling their best-ever winning margin.

“You have got to commend the drop goal for him to even think about having a crack from 50-odd metres out,” said Chester on Sneyd’s one pointer.

“It was just one of those days where it came down to the bounce of the ball and that final kick went against us.

“I am pretty sure it will be a similar type of game, it will be tight.

“They have started to get a few bodies back, so we are expecting a physical game.”

Chester says that his players will take plenty of confidence from their drubbing of Hull last month.

He added: “We know that everything kind of fell for us in that game. We were aware of how much was at stake and you could tell with the players how much we needed that win.

“We were a desperate team on that day and we need to make sure that we are a desperate team on Friday night.

“We will take some confidence from that but I’m sure that Hull will take some confidence from our performance against Huddersfield.”