CONFIDENT COACH Chris Chester wants Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to prove they can beat a top-four team.
Wildcats will aim for an eighth victory in nine league and cup games since Easter when they play host to Warrington Wolves tomorrow.
Warrington began round 14 as First Utility Super League leaders and it is a challenge Chester is relishing following a below-par display in last week’s 40-22 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win over Toulouse Olympique.
“Last time we got a test against a top-four team we came up short,” Chester said of last month’s 46-28 home defeat by Hull.
“It is a good yardstick of where we are at and we certainly need to improve on last weekend’s performance, but it is a game we are looking forward to.”
Chester believes Warrington, whose backroom staff includes ex-Wakefield boss Richard Agar, are genuine title contenders this year.
“[Coach] Tony Smith has got them playing really well,” he added.
“They play a really good brand of football and Kurt Gidley has taken Super League by storm.
“I have been really impressed with them.
“They have got one of the best packs in the competition and they like to play with the ball.
“The have two of the best front-rowers in the competition and Daryl Clark is playing the best I’ve seen him play for a couple of years.
“I like watching them on television and we are under no illusions about how tough it is going to be, but we have been pretty good at home this year.
“We feel like we have got a good chance against anybody.”
Wildcats made hard work of last week’s Cup success, after leading 22-0 inside 16 minutes.
The French visitors, from Kingstone Press League One, cut the gap to just six points with seven minutes remaining and Chester reckons it was a wake-up call for his team after a string of good performances.
“It wasn’t a bad time to have an off-day,” he said.
“A lot of players throughout the team under-performed and only one or two came out with any real credit.
“We have been good the last seven weeks since I have been in charge so I can cop one average performance.
“We’ve just got to make sure we don’t back that performance up this week. We have got to be a lot better.”
Knee injury victims Bill Tupou and Joe Arundel are back in contention for tomorrow, along with Chris Annakin, Nick Scruton and Anthony Tuopu.
Andy Yates begins a three-match ban and Stuart Howarth and Jay Walton also drop out from last week’s team.
Ryan Atkins, Matty Russell and Ben Westwood could return for Warrington, with Morgan Smith dropping out fgrom the side which won at Oldham last week.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: from Anderson, Annakin, Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Crowther, England, Finn, Hall, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Kirmond, Miller, Scruton, Simon, Sio, A Tupou, B Tupou.
Warrington Wolves: from Atkins, Clark, Cox, Currie, Evans, Gidley, Hill, Jullien, King, Lineham, Ormsby, Penny, Philbin, Ratchford, Russell, Sims, Westerman, Westwood, Wilde
Referee: Chris Campbell (Warrington).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.