THE SUPER-8S are far from meaningless for Wakefield Trinity, coach Chris Chester insists.
Trinity go into tonight’s opener at Hull in seventh place, eight points outside the top four. Relegation has already been avoided and a semi-final spot looks out of reach, but Chester stressed: “There’s still a lot to play for for us.”
He said: “Our goal at the start of the season was the top four. We’ve reset that and we want a top-six finish.
“We know how important that is for the club financially and we’ve got a great opportunity to do that.
“We want to finish the season strongly and win more games than we lose.
“We are fighting above our weight and finishing fifth or sixth would be a successful season for us.”
It would also give Trinity something to build on in 2019, Chester reckons. Trinity have the second-best attack of any team in the Super-8s, but the fifth-strongest defence.
“We are seventh and we’re the only team outside the top four with a positive points difference,” Chester observed.
“It’s crazy, that comes down to the close games we’ve narrowly been beaten in.
“The challenge for us next year is to make sure we are closing those close games out.”
Trinity are bracing themselves for a backlash tonight, having embarrassed Hull 72-10 at Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue, just three weeks ago.
“We’re certainly not expecting the same Hull team that turned up that day,” Chester said. “They had a few guys who shouldn’t have played and they’ll have a few back. They are having a tough spell, but they’ll be wanting to turn it around and finish the season on a high note.”
Chester will select his 17 from the players beaten at Huddersfield in their final game of the regular season two weeks ago, plus Anthony England and Kyle Wood. Dean Hadley and Chris Green could return from injury for Hull.
Hull: from Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Hadley, Minichiello, Green, Abdull, Washbrook, Fash, Manu, Paea, Lane, Matongo, Harris.
Wakefield Trinity: from Annakin, Arona, Ashurst, Batchelor, England, Fifita, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Huby, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Randell, Tupou, Wood.
Referee: Jack Smith (Warrington).
Kick-off: Today, 7.45pm.