GIVEN his history in such encounters, it is no surprise Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester is prepped to get his fix of three derbies inside the next 24 hours.
Up first, and most importantly, his side tonight host Castleford Tigers eager to make sure they do not suffer a third successive loss.
That would somewhat take the gloss off their previous form, a best-ever Super League start of four consecutive wins.
However, Chester is then heading to tomorrow lunchtime’s Hull derby as Hull KR – where he was a head coach and player – entertain Hull FC, the side with whom he won the 2005 Challenge Cup.
Finally, St Helens v Wigan Warriors on the television (the 39-year played for Wigan between 1999-2001) completes his fill.
Although fans of both the Hull derby and Saints versus Wigan are constantly baiting each other about which is the biggest rugby league derby, this evening’s game arguably has all the portents to be the most exciting of the trio.
Ours is an important game for everyone involved – players and staff but more so the fans as it gives them bragging rights for a few weeks.Chris Chester
Wakefield, for all the recent defeats at Wigan and Warrington, have real attacking flair in their side, as do Castleford last year’s League Leaders who raced into a 24-0 lead against champions Leeds Rhinos on Friday before eventually edging home 25-24.
Chester agreed and added: “It looks like it’s going to be a sell-out as well which is good.
“We’ve had some real tough games against Cas these last 12 months. We felt we should have got the result against them at home last year; we got off to a real strong start but just let them back in the game and got beat on the bell by a point.
“It’s important we take it to them. I am looking for an aggressive start because we need to get on the front foot and limit Luke Gale and Ben Roberts’ time on the ball. But it’s easier said than done.
“They’ve got a great pack – I’ve been really impressed by Junior Moors who gives them great go-forward and in Paul McShane they have probably the smartest dummy-half in the competition at the minute.
“It’ll be a great game. I’m looking forward to watching all the derbies, to be honest. I’m going to go down to Hull KR and Hull on Friday and then will watch Saints/Wigan on the box.
“But ours is an important game for everyone involved – players and staff but more so the fans as it gives them bragging rights for a few weeks.
“It’s a short turnaround ‘til we play them next, just four weeks, so hopefully we can be on the right end of the scoreline.”
For all they fell 34-24 at Warrington last Friday, on the back of a 30-18 defeat at Wigan, Chester insists there are no issues that massively concern him.
“We’re still full of confidence, still fancy our chances,” he said, a trip to Challenge Cup holders Hull awaiting on Easter Monday.
“We’ve played two games away from home against two improving teams. I think Wigan are the best team in the comp’ at the minute and Warrington have signed players in the off-season who are starting to come good.
“But we’re at home, we’ve a big local crowd behind us and that’ll hopefully help us get the result.”
Wakefield have also lost captain Danny Kirmond (hamstring) while prop David Fifita remains sidelined with a groin strain but hooker Kyle Wood returns.
“Danny’s injury is not as bad as first feared and he has a chance for Monday,” said Chester.
“David’s groin is an ongoing problem.
“But we’ve still plenty of depth. I’ve spoken to Joe Arundel and Mason Caton-Brown to let them know they’ll be playing Monday. I expect people like them Rocky Hampshire, Jordan Baldwinson and Chris Anakin will all feature over Easter.”