Wakefield Trinity: Chris Chester confident there won’t be a penalty-fest in Super League

Wakefield Trinity head coach Chris Chester.
Wakefield Trinity head coach Chris Chester.

WAKEFIELD TRINITY coach Chris Chester is confident there will be no repeat of this week’s penalty-fest when Betfred Super League kicks off in January.

Referee Robert Hicks awarded 24 penalties when Trinity faced Leeds Rhinos in their opening pre-season game on Boxing Day.

Leeds Rhinos' 'Cameron Smith takes on Wakefield Trinity's Kyle Wood during the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge on Boxing Day.

Leeds Rhinos' 'Cameron Smith takes on Wakefield Trinity's Kyle Wood during the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge on Boxing Day.

Hicks, who took charge of the 2018 Challenge Cup final and Grand Final, refereed an opposed training session against York last weekend and Wakefield were aware of what match officials will be focusing on next year.

“It just seems to be the yardage penalties they are looking for,” Chester said.

Super League are set to confirm the introduction of a shot clock, limiting the time taken over drop outs and scrums, on New Year’s Day. The free play has been abolished, so referees will be the sole judge of advantage, interchanges are being reduced from 10 to eight and games drawn after 80 minutes will go into sudden-death extra-time.

“Every Super League club has got a referee in at some point,” Chester said. “When the shot clock gets fitted, I think on January 11, we will get him back in again because there’s obviously going to be some big changes with regards drop-outs and scrums. Having said that, I thought Robert was talking to the guys [on Boxing Day] and tried to speed that area up. It looked a lot quicker.”