A PRECIOUS victory over St Helens was reward for Wakefield Trinity half-back Liam Finn’s decision to play through the pain barrier.
Finn completed the full 80 minutes of the game two days ago and his kicking proved the difference in Trinity’s 24-20 success, after the eight tries were shared.
The 34-year-old Ireland international had missed Trinity’s two previous matches – defeats by one and two points to Hull and Leeds Rhinos – after fracturing the finger in another close loss, to Castleford Tigers.
He opted to return to action – instead of having surgery – and the gamble paid off as Trinity picked up their first win in five games, to shock the Betfred Super League leaders.
Finn, who had a pain-killing injection before the match, admitted it wasn’t a comfortable experience, but felt the result made it worthwhile.
“It is broken at the joint, that’s why it’s a bit more painful,” he explained.
It’s potentially one of the last seasons of my career, I want to earn a new deal and I don’t want to be missing for seven or eight games.Wakefield’s Liam Finn
“I can’t bend my finger. I had to have my finger put back in against Cas and I assume I did it then. It was fine for that game, but then I went for an x-ray and they found the break.
“I went to see a specialist and he said I needed an operation to sew it all back together. I wasn’t going to be playing in the next game anyway so my mentality was I’ll get it fixed up and in a couple of weeks I’ll be good, but he said it’s seven or eight weeks’ recovery.”
That confirmed Finn’s decision not to go under the knife.
He added: “It’s potentially one of the last seasons of my career, I want to earn a new deal and I don’t want to be missing for seven or eight games,” he said.
“I wouldn’t during any season. All the operation minimises is the risk of arthritis in the joint when I get older, so I decided not to have it.
“He [the specialist] said it will heal, just a bit differently to if I’d had the operation. I’m hoping I’ve not done any damage [on Sunday] and Friday [when Trinity travel to Salford] will be three weeks since the injury, which is a decent time for a finger. Hopefully it will be a little less painful then.”
Finn – who kicked four goals from five attempts – admitted the result against Saints took the edge of the discomfort in his hand. He said: “You know when you’ve lost five on the bounce you can’t afford to lose any more.
“Without sounding like losing is acceptable, you can stomach being in the contest and maybe getting edged out by the top teams, because you know you’re a good team as well, but on a five-game losing streak it gets a bit desperate.”