SOME WAKEFIELD Trinity players will get an unexpected run out this weekend.
Trinity visit Betfred League One club Newcastle Thunder for their third pre-season game on Saturday and coach Chris Chester said several first teamers have played themselves into contention – after under-performing in the 30-24 win over Hull two days ago.
Chester felt the performance in Danny Kirmond’s testimonial game, shared with Hull’s Danny Washbrook, showed Trinity are not where they thought they were ahead of their Betfred Super League opener at London Broncos on Sunday, February 3.
“We need to be better, individually and collectively,” said Chester. “We really stood up in the second half and I was pleased with James Batchelor - who was very good – and Craig Huby.
“He played decent minutes. There’s a few guys that have made my job pretty easy for round one and probably more [senior] guys than I planned will play in Newcastle. I thought there were a couple who were way off the mark. With the ball we are still not quite clicking. I am not too fussed, but the disappointing thing was how easily they got over our tryline in the first half.
“There was lots to be pleased about, but a lot of work still to do before that first round against London.”
A player who did impress Chester was full-back Max Jowitt. He said: “He was excellent, probably our best player. Every time the ball goes up in the air you know 99.9 per cent of the time he’s going to catch it. He defended well and attacked well. I was really pleased for Max. He wants that number one jersey and he has got some competition there with Rocky Hampshire who I thought, towards the back end of the second half, was very good and scored a great individual try.”
Kyle Wood missed out due to a back spasm, but Chester said Trinity came through the game with no major injury concerns.
“I’ve never been a fan of friendlies,” admitted Chester. “I am always worried we are going to get injuries to key personnel, but we used it to get minutes into our big men.”