DELIGHTED – AND relieved – coach Chris Chester felt Wakefield Trinity got what they deserved when they ended their long losing run in unexpected fashion against St Helens.
Trinity had suffered five successive defeats, but produced an outstanding all-round performance to stun the Betfred Super League leaders 24-20 in a thrilling clash at Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue.
Wakefield led 24-6 early in the second quarter, but were only two points ahead going into the closing stages and Chester said: “I think I’ve aged about 10 years in that last five minutes, but I couldn’t be prouder of the group. They’ve been there or thereabouts in the last five weeks and we’ve been a bit unlucky, but it’s nice to be on the right side of a close game. They’ve copped a fair bit recently, but they’ve stuck together.”
Trinity conceded the opening try inside the first two minutes, but withstood long spells of Saints pressure and Chester added: “Barring that first couple of minutes, defensively they were pretty good. St Helens are a fantastic attacking team. I’m delighted to get that monkey off our backs. It’s a massive win for everyone involved with the club.”
Loose-forward Justin Horo was among Trinity’s try scorers and Chester felt he and Reece Lyne were star men in an excellent team display. He said: “I thought Justin Horo had his best game for us and I”m really pleased for him.
“He’s a back-rower, but there’s a position there for him at lock. I’m delighted with the way he defended; he came up with some big plays for us.”
Liam Finn played the full game, despite a badly broken finger and Chester added: “There’s a few guys who are playing with knocks.
“It’s not great, his finger – and I’m fed up of him telling me!
“But he toughed it out and in the last couple of weeks we lacked his experience.
“We made some changes, not picking Tom Johnstone, Ryan Hampshire and Pauli Pauli.
“They know why they weren’t selected. It sends a clear message to the rest of the group that it doesn’t matter who you are – if you’re not playing well, you will find yourself sitting on the sidelines with me.”