Wakefield Trinity’s Big-match verdict: Loss ‘hard to take’ as Trinity fall short again

Chris Chester
Chris Chester

WAKEFIELD TRINITY’S players have been told to go away and put their feet up.

Coach Chris Chester has given his side until Wednesday off following a bruising Easter period which left them battered and disappointed.

David Fifita

David Fifita

Trinity emerged from three games in nine days with no points after suffering last-gasp heartbreak at Warrington Wolves.

They led 12-0 early on and 20-6 early in the second half, but could not close the game out and Warrington rallied to win 22-20.

It was a game Trinity could and should have won.

They were leading by two points in the 77th minute and attacking close to Warrington’s line when David Fifita knocked-on playing the ball.

Reece Lyne

Reece Lyne

That gave Warrington one last opportunity and they made it count when Tom Lineham got over at the corner from Stefan Ratchford’s pass to snatch the points with just two minutes left.

It was poor reward for a huge effort by Trinity and Chester admitted their latest defeat – following losses to table-topping Castleford Tigers and Super League champions Wigan Warriors – was “a hard one to take”.

He said: “I thought we were the best team for large parts of the game, but unfortunately we just came up short again.

“It was a poor error and a poor read on the edge, but I am proud of the boys’ efforts.

“We’ve come a long way in such a short space of time.

“To come here and be really disappointed with a loss just shows how far we’ve come.”

The coach said Fifita was “gutted” about his mistake and added: “We just needed to be a bit smarter in the second half.

“We tried chasing the game. Our game management needed to be a lot better – find touch, slow the game down a bit and play at our pace.

“I am not going to have a go at the guys, I thought their effort was fantastic and again – two weeks on the bounce – I thought we should have got something from the game.”

For most of the 80 minutes it looked like Trinity would.

They caught Warrington cold with a fast start in which Ash Gibson and Mason Caton-Brown scored back-to-back tries, both converted by Liam Finn.

The first came from Kyle Wood’s kick and the second was a superb effort, the centre supporting Jacob Miller’s clean break off a clever pass from Dean Hadley.

Ryan Atkins, who had earlier had a touchdown ruled out by video referee Robert Hicks, pulled a try back against his former club, converted by Declan Patton, but a Finn penalty goal made it 14-6 at the break.

Tom Johnstone strolled in from a brilliant long pass by Miller early in the second half and Finn again converted, but short-range tries by Chris Hill and Kevin Brown – both goaled by Patton – set up a tense finalé.

“It was a scrappy, poor game,” Chester reflected. “There were a lot of errors for both teams.

“We lost Danny Kirmond after 15 minutes so we were a sub’ down, but that’s no excuse.

“We just needed to be a little bit smarter in the final third in the second half. But we weren’t and we have to cop that.

“We let ourselves down in the second half and it was one of those games – it just got away from us.”

Kirmond suffered a back problem in the warm up. Chester said: “He wanted to play. It was probably the wrong decision by me, but I’ll learn.”

The coach is hopeful long-term casualty Reece Lyne will be available for Sunday’s visit of Catalans Dragons.

Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Evans, Livett, Atkins, Lineham, Patton, Gidley, Hill, Dwyer, Sims, Jullien, Hughes, Westerman. Subs Philbin, Brown, G King, Savelio.

Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Gibson, Caton-Brown, Johnstone, Miller, Finn, England, Wood, Fifita, Hadley, Kirmond, Arona. Subs Williams, Batchelor, Hirst, Huby.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).

Attendance: 9,152.