SURPRISE PACKAGE Wakefield Trinity are not going to let a season’s hard work slip away without a fight, second-rower Matty Ashurst says.
Trinity’s hopes of qualifying for the Super League semi-finals are in the balance after an agonising 18-16 home loss to St Helens two days ago.
Trinity were the better team and led from the 12th to the 78th minutes, but were sunk by a last-gasp converted try.
Ashurst admitted the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow, but with two games left Trinity remain in control of their own destiny and the influential forward says they will bounce back.
“We were devastated really,” Ashurst said. “I thought we controlled the game well for 78 minutes, but we just let it get away from us at the end.
“We are gutted, results are big at this stage, but we are not out of it yet.
“We have got two big games, two cup finals really, to try and crack that top-four still and that’s what we’ll try to do.”
Trinity visit Hull next Thursday and complete their Betfred Super-8s campaign at home to Wigan Warriors nine days later.
“I think we will have to win both to guarantee us a place,” Ashurst admitted.
“But it is in our own hands. We have got to go to Hull next week, which will be another tough game, but we have got to take some positives from the way we performed [against Saints] and hopefully take them into next week and get a result.”
Trinity have made massive progress since their victory over Bradford Bulls in the 2015 million pound game, which kept them in Super League.
They remain on course for their highest finish in the summer era and Ashurst said: “When you are disappointed about losing to a team like Saints, in the last minute, it shows we have come a long way this year.
“We have done a lot of hard work and we don’t want to let it slip now in these last two games.
“We will work hard and go into next week and try and get a win there.”
Saints’ last-gasp winning try came after full-back Scott Grix failed to clear a low kick, but Ashurst insisted nobody in the Trinity camp pointed a finger at their experienced full-back.
“You can’t really blame it on individuals or anything like that,” he stressed.
“I think it was a good team effort for the main part of the game, but these things happen in rugby.
“We are disappointed now, but we will come back into training on Sunday and look to put it right for next week.”
Team spirit and strength of character has played a big role in Trinity’s season and that will be tested over the next two weeks.
“We are a tight group,” Ashurst said.
“We get on well and we will work hard in training next week and not talk about the loss too much.
“We’ll build on the positives, try and put in a big performance and see if we can stay in the top four.
“It is always a case of proving people wrong at Wakefield.
“We’ve always had belief in the group about what we could do, it has been a good year, but we don’t want to let it slip.
“We have put in all this hard work to get where we are so we want to have a real crack at these semi-finals.”