WAKEFIELD TRINITY have made a flying start to pre-season, but coach Chris Chester insists they can’t – and won’t – get carried away.
Trinity warmed their fans with an emphatic 30-6 thrashing of Leeds Rhinos Headingley to retain the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge trophy.
“It has been a really good start,” Chester said. “It has been a tough nine weeks of pre-season and I could tell they were ready to play.
“I thought defensively we were very good. We were a little bit off with our skill, certainly in that second half and bombed some opportunities, but it was a very, very pleasing result.”
Winger Tom Johnstone scored three of Trinity’s six touchdowns and Chester enthused: “He finishes his tries well. His second try took some scoring and he keeps getting better and better, but I thought there was some really good build up play to Tom’s tries.
“I thought execution of the pass was very, very good. Overall, very pleased, but nobody’s getting carried away or ahead of ourselves.
“We know how much talent they had missing, but it’s a step in the right direction and very pleasing to keep a side like Leeds to one score.”
Wakefield also had some key players unavailable, with Jacob Miller, Craig Huby, Ashley Gibson and Max Jowitt among those not involved in yesterday’s game.
Chester reckons the result proves Trinity have strong competition for places and he said: “Going with a bigger squad has certainly brought the best out of people like Anthony Walker and Keegan Hirst and Tinirau Arona, who I thought was very good.
“We’ve gone with a big squad again this year and they are just driving each other on. It’s pleasing to see the good competition we’ve got within the group.
“That puts us in good stead for the season. Nobody’s guaranteed a spot in this side.
“We identified at the end of last season that we were a little bit light in the half-backs and if we had got an injury we would have struggled.
“Bringing Sam Williams over has really motivated Liam Finn and bringing in Woody [Kyle Wood] has really brought the best out of Mikey Sio as well.
“It is really pleasing. There’s a lot we need to work on, but so far the signs are pretty good.”