EVER-PRESENT WAKEFIELD Trinity back Bill Tupou has emerged this year as one of Betfred Super League’s most exciting attacking forces.
The New Zealand-born centre/winger has been in sparkling form for Trinity, scoring 11 tries in 26 appearances.
His strong running and regular line breaks have contributed to Trinity’s status as one of the most potent attacking teams in the competition and could earn the 28-year-old a place in the Super League Dream Team when voting takes place next month.
Tupou, who joined Trinity in 2015, will be aiming to extend his try-scoring run to four matches away to Huddersfield Giants tonight.
“It is nice, it is good to hear that people are recognising how I’ve been playing,” the former New Zealand Warriors and Canberra Raiders man said of his rave reviews.
“For myself it’s good to hear that, knowing I’ve been in good form, but that’s just a bonus.
“In previous years I’ve been injured so I’ve not really been playing.
“This year’s my first full year when I’ve not missed a game.
“I am proud of that and hopefully I can finish off the last few games unscathed.”
Wakefield began round three in sixth place on the Super-8s table, but Tupou reckons they would be top-four contenders had they employed more consistency during matches.
“We’ve had a few close games that could have gone both ways,” he pointed out.
“I think we just need to rectify that and focus on playing the full 80 minutes.
“That’s what we need to fix up going into next year. We’ve been talking about it going into these last five games and hopefully getting better at it before the season ends.
“Hopefully then we can take it into next year.”
Giants are fifth and began round three of the Super-8s just four points outside a play-offs spot.
“We’ve only beaten them once this year and this will be the fifth time we’ve played them,” Tupou recalled.
“It has been a tough year playing against them, but we’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can stop them in their tracks.
“It’s going to be a tough one, but we’re going to try and get on top of them. They’ve been in great form the last few months, but we just need to do what we do best and hopefully we’ll come out with a win.”
Tupou added: “There’s no pressure on us because there’s probably no chance of us making the top four now.
“They are most likely the only team outside the four that could still make it in there so all the pressure’s on them, but we would still like to finish this year good and win a few games over the last five.
“That would definitely help us going into next year.”
Trinity will be without big prop David Fifita who underwent groin surgery last week, so Keegan Hirst comes back into contention along with Jordan Crowther and Scott Grix.
Aaron Murphy and Michael Lawrence are available for Giants after injury.
Jake Mamo could also return, but Oliver Roberts (wrist injury) drops out.
Huddersfield Giants: from Mamo, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, Murphy, Gaskell, Brough, Leeming, Lawrence, Hinchcliffe, Ferguson, Rankin, Ta’ai, Clough, O’Brien, Mellor, McIntosh, Roche, Matagi.
Wakefield Trinity: from Arona, Ashurst, Batchelor, Crowther, England, Grix, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Huby, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Randell, Tupou, Wood
Referee: Gareth Hewer (Whitehaven).
Kick-off: Tonight, 7.45pm.