BOSS CHRIS Chester was “hurting” after Wakefield Trinity’s costly 41-16 home defeat by St Helens, but also proud of what they have achieved so far this year.
Trinity went into the game in fourth place on the Betfred Super League table, one point behind Hull and ahead of Salford Red Devils on for and against.
Wakefield’s defeat allowed Hull to remain third and the margin lifted Salford above Trinity who had to settle for fifth at the end of the regular season and three home games in the Super-8s, rather than four.
“We didn’t get off to a great start,” admitted Chester, whose team trailed 24-6 at half-time. “They came out of the blocks a lot quicker than us and got some momentum in that first half.
“We’re bitterly disappointed. We are hurting a bit, but I am also proud of this group of players. They have achieved what people thought we couldn’t achieve this year, by getting into the top six.
“It hurts that we’ve thrown third place away and fourth as well, but in the grand scheme of things we’ve got to be happy. We’ve shown some progression this year, but a few games – Warrington, Leeds and Huddersfield – have cost us.”
Trinity will be at home to Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and Saints in the Super-8s and away against Huddersfield Giants, Salford, Hull and Castleford Tigers.
“We came up with some dumb plays in the first half,” Chester admitted of yesterday’s performance. “We showed a bit of fight and spirit in the second half, but just came up short.
“Saints have been good for the last few weeks and we couldn’t match them physically, which is concerning. We got taught a few lessons by a red hot team. We will improve, the guys have got some time off now and hopefully they’ll come back stronger for the first round of the Super-8s.
Meanwhile, Trinity have signed Australian utility-player Tyler Randell from Newcastle Knights on a contract until the end of 2019.
The 24-year-old, who can play hooker, stand-off, loose-forward or scrum-half, was registered in time to feature in the Super-8s, though he may not arrive at Wakefield until next year.