AFTER A costly injury blow in their opening pre-season game, Wakefield Trinity boss Chris Chester admits he will be “wary” during tomorrow’s second run-out.
Chester is set to field a strong squad for the visit of Championship outfit Halifax, but what happened to hooker Tyler Randell against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day will be in his thoughts.
Randell is set to be sidelined for at least three months after suffering a medial cruciate ligament injury just five minutes into the game and Chester admits he can’t afford to lose any more frontline stars with less than four weeks until the season begins.
“We’re going to go strong again on Sunday, but I am going to leave a couple out,” Chester said.
“Some guys, I feel, have done enough and it is a difficult one with losing Tyler Randell.
“That has changed our mindset a bit with these games, but certain people need to play again and the guys from the World Cup will play some part as well.
“We are going strong again, but wary of what happened to Tyler and we will rest a few people.”
Bill Tupou will not feature, after what Chester described as a “tremendous” effort against Leeds and Ben Jones-Bishop is also rested.
But another winger, Tom Johnstone, will make his comeback from an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered last April and prop Justin Horo – an off-season signing from Catalans Dragons – is also in the squad.
Matty Ashurst, Liam Finn, Scott Grix and Jacob Miller will make their first appearance of pre-season and there will be a run out for academy winger Lee Kershaw.
Trinity were beaten 17-10 in the Christmas fixture and Chester is calling for another strong defensive effort, but with more polish on attack. “We’ve reviewed the game and we were good in parts and not so good in others,” he said.
“It was pretty frustrating at times because there’s a lot more improvement in us.
“We will get some good, experienced bodies back this week which will certainly help us. Energy-wise we were a bit down on Boxing Day.
“Leeds came to play and we could not match that intensity.
“I am expecting a better effort and a lot better attitude as well.”
Trinity begin their Betfred Super League campaign at promoted Hull KR on Friday, February 2.
They will send a side to Championship outfit Batley Bulldogs next Sunday before a home game against top-flight rivals Huddersfield Giants six days later and Chester stressed they are still in pre-season mode.
“We’ve treated it as a normal pre-season week,” he said of the build-up to tomorrow’s game.
“We’ve not been holding the players back because we’ve got a game, we have got to make sure we are ready to go on February 2.
“That’s what’s important.”
Wakefield Trinity: from Ackroyd, Annakin, Ashurst, Arona, Arundel, Baldwinson, Batchelor, Caton-Brown, Crowther, England, Finn, Scott Grix, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Johnstone, Jowitt, Kirmond, Kershaw, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Wood.
Halifax: from Brook (trialist), Butler, Calcott, Davies, Dewhirst, Jack Fairbank, Jacob Fairbank, Simon Grix, Heaton, Johnston, Jones, Kaye, McGrath, Moore, Morgan (trialist), Morris, Murrell, Sharp, Stringer, Syme, Tyrer.
Referee: Tom Crashley (Wakefield).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 2pm.