THE RESULT went against them, but Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester was “excited” by his side’s performance in the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge.
Trinity led 4-0 at half-time, but hosts Leeds Rhinos snatched a 10-4 win thanks to two tries in the final 18 minutes.
“I thought it was a good spectacle,” Chester said of his team’s opening pre-season game.
“I thought both teams were way off with the ball, there was a lot of errors and our execution wasn’t great.
“They bombed a couple, we bombed a couple and I just thought our indiscipline at the start of the second half probably hurt us a little bit, but there’s a lot to be excited about.
“As a Wakefield coach and a Wakefield fan I think we’ve got a squad here that can go on and do some good things this season.”
Chester admitted: “I thought Leeds played pretty well as well.
“It is disappointing we lost, but there were a lot more positives, certainly defensively.
“There were three sets in the first half where we limited them to 17, 18 and 22 metres and we were catching the ball on the 40.
“Defensively I was really pleased, but with the ball we were a fair bit off.
“That’s down to us.
“We will introduce more structure over the next few weeks, but this was all about getting minutes into some of our key players.
“Kopy [Craig Kopczak] played straight 40 minutes, Tinirau Arona played some big minutes in the middle and we used the first 40 as a guide for the new interchange rules that are coming in.
“We used two before half-time, so that was pleasing as well.”
Danny Brough, signed from Huddersfield Giants, made his first Trinity appearance since his previous spell at the club in 2010.
Chester described his kicking game as “unbelievable”.
He said: “Fair play to young Jack Walker, there were two kicks that came down with snow on them and he took them quite easily.
“That’s probably part of the game we’ve not been so good at over the last few years, but we got three or four repeat sets.”