BOSS CHRIS Chester hailed a “strong team performance” after Wakefield Trinity crushed Catalans Dragons 30-10 to end their three-game losing run.
Trinity were on the defensive for much of the first half, but eventually took advantage of Dragons’ poor discipline to score six tries to two. Four of Trinity’s tries came against 12 men after the visitors had wingers Fouad Yaha and Vincent Duport and half-back Luke Walsh sin-binned in separate incidents. Chester reflected: “I thought defensively we really turned up for each other today. We just strangled them with field position in the second half.
“We said at half-time we just had to hold on to the ball. For the first five sets of the game we lost the ball or came up with a poor pass. We were our own worst enemies.
“Their first try was a blatant obstruction missed by the referee, but we showed some real character and some team spirit, which was pleasing.”
Chester insisted his team were confident ahead of the game, despite recent disappointing results.
“We haven’t been far away,” he said. “It is pleasing we’ve ground out a really good win and it’s our first double of the season. It was a really strong performance and pleasing to get back on the horse.”
The turning point came four minutes before the break when Joe Arundel almost forced his way over, but was brilliantly tackled by Yaha. The winger held on too long and referee Phil Bentham did the right thing by producing a yellow card.
Wakefield trailed 6-0 at that stage and had rarely been in Dragons’ 20, but when the half-time hooter went they were two points ahead and they extended their advantage at the start of the second half.
Mason Caton-Brown ran straight through the gap left by Yaha’s departure almost immediately and then in the next set Ben Jones-Bishop crossed on the other flank from Reece Lyne’s long pass.
Caton-Brown had switched to the left-wing, from centre, when Tom Johnstone went off hurt after just six minutes. Lyne – out since March with a knee injury – came on in the opposite centre.
Up to that stage Catalans, who forced three goal line drop outs in the first eight minutes, had pressed almost non-stop, but some decent Trinity defence and a lack of attacking ideas restricted them to just one try, Duport diving over from Richie Myler’s pass and Walsh landing a touchline conversion.
Sam Moa was twice held up over the Wakefield line and Jones-Bishop crossed at the other end, but Scott Grix’s pass was forward.
Yaha was still off the field when Caton-Brown touched down again from Jacob Miller’s pass on 43 minutes, though with Liam Finn missing all three conversions Trinity led only 12-6.
Yaha crossed from Tony Gigot’s pass within moments of his return, but Caton-Brown completed his hat-trick with a spectacular finish from a good ball by Arundel.
Walsh was sin-binned for protesting and Finn landed his first goal to make the gap eight points. Trinity sealed the win with 16 minutes left when a pass by Myler went to ground, was gathered by Jones-Bishop and he raced 80 metres to score.
Finn converted and completed the scoring with his third goal after a deserved touchdown for Craig Huby. The substitute prop marked his 300th career appearance by powering over following a one-two with Matty Ashurst.
Three minutes before the end Duport became the third Catalans player banished to the naughty step, moments after they were placed on a team warning. The visitors received three penalties in the final two minutes and the count finished 11-9 in Trinity’s favour.
Johnstone has a knee injury, to be assessed Monday. Sam Williams missed the game with a broken rib and captain Danny Kirmond was sidelined by a back problem.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Arundel, Caton-Brown, Johnstone, Miller, Finn, England, Wood, Fifita, Ashurst, Handley, Arona. Subs Batchelor, Huby, Hirst, Lyne.
Catalans Dragons: Gigot, Duport, Inu, Thornley, Yaha, Walsh, Myler, Moa, Aiton, Casty, Perez, Garcia, Bird. Subs Bousquet, Bosc, Simon, Margalet.
Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).