IF WAKEFIELD Trinity can carry on from where they left off, coach Chris Chester reckons they will be a tough team to beat tomorrow.
Salford visit Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue, for Trinity’s first game since a 34-32 loss to Warrington Wolves nine days ago.
Wakefield trailed 18-0 early in that one and were 28-6 behind early in the second half before staging a stunning fightback – and only a conversion attempt which rebounded off a post prevented them taking the match into sudden-death extra-time.
Chester admitted “lapses of concentration” and “uncharacteristic errors” cost his team, but feels their rally after the break showed what they are capable of.
“Of the first five sets we completed four,” he recalled. “That’s not good enough.
“We went in at half-time deservedly with a big hill to climb.
“To come up short at the death like that, it was disappointing we lost, but shows the character and belief we’ve got in this team. We were woeful in the first half, but there were lots of lessons to be learned and if we can bottle that second half and take it into Salford we will give ourselves a good chance.”
The loss to Warrington was Trinity’s third at home this year and Chester accepts that is a “concern”.
He said: “We seem to be playing better away.
“We are playing well in patches at home and hopefully we’ll get a good result against Salford, but saying that they are playing really well at the minute and they’re sat above us in the league. It is going to need an 80-minute performance. We need to make sure we do the important things really well.”
Chester will select from the 17 beaten by Warrington, plus Matty Ashurst and Bill Tupou who both missed that game due to injury.
“We will make a call on Bill on Saturday morning, but Matty Ashurst will definitely be back,” confirmed the coach.
“If Bill doesn’t pass his fitness test we will go with a similar left-edge to the Warrington game with Max Jowitt out on the wing and Joe Arundel.
“Having Matty Ashurst back will help strengthen that left-edge.
“I thought Warrington targeted that left-edge and did a good job.”
With Tom Johnstone out for the season and key players including Craig Huby, James Batchelor and Tyler Randell on the long-term casualty list, Trinity are looking at possibly bringing in reinforcements.
“We’ve had a chat with a couple of agents,” Chester confirmed. “But there’s no need to rush.
“If we don’t get Bill back this week we’ll definitely get him back for next week.
“We will see how things are after this week. The squad is looking thin with the long-term injuries we’ve got at the moment.
“The depth is certainly getting tested, but we are still okay at this moment in time.
“There is no need to panic, it has got to be the right person.”
Salford are without Ken Sio and Ben Nakubuwai from the team beaten by Wigan last week.
New signing Krisnan Inu could make his debut and Kris Welham, Junior Sau and Greg Burke come into contention.
Wakefield Trinity: from Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Brough, Crowther, England, Fifita, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, King, Kopczak, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Tupou, Wood.
Salford Red Devils: from Evalds, Chamberlain, Welham, Sau, Bibby, Lui, Dudson, Jones, Griffin, Flanagan, Lussick, Walker, Burke, Murray, Olpherts, Turgut, Lawton, Inu, Hastings.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (Leigh).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.