WAKEFIELD TRINITY boss Chris Chester was full of pride in his team’s against-the-odds performance after seeing them complete a Betfred Super League double over Leeds Rhinos.
Trinity were without a dozen senior players through injury, but produced a magnificent defensive effort and some clinical finishing in a memorable 26-24 success.
“It was a great all-round team effort,” Chester said.
“I know I said it after the Hull game and I’ll probably get some stick, but I genuinely feel that win was my best at Wakefield Trinity.”
Nineteen-year-old winger Lee Kershaw scored Trinity’s opening try and Chester added: “This is a team that will never get beaten on effort.
“I thought the team spirit we’ve got was evident and we fought to the very last minute.
“We gave an opportunity to a young kid who I thought was fantastic.
“He didn’t look out of place, carried the ball strongly and is certainly one for the future.
“I am a proud coach.”
Trinity had an extra day to prepare, having played last Thursday when they lost at Castleford Tigers and Chester felt that helped his team.
“I said to the guys at half-time, whatever you think you’re going through, they are twice as bad,” he revealed..
“Our ball control was really poor in the first half, 60 or 65 per cent and we rectified that at half-time, spoke about what we needed to do and they delivered the game plan really well.
“It is always tough backing up after a tough derby game like we had [at Castleford], but I couldn’t be more pleased and proud.”
Of Trinity’s injuries, Chester said: “Around three-quarters of our salary cap are on the sidelines at the moment.
“Of the 12 we’ve got out, 11 would be in my 17 on a weekly basis.
“Having said that, we gave opportunities to some players, Chris Annakin and Lee Kershaw and they had great games - but from one to 17 we were fantastic.”
Chester was pleased with stand-in stand-off Ben Reynolds in only his second game for the club.
He said: “His combination with Rocky [Ryan Hampshire] and Max Jowitt is a work in progress, but they executed some really nice plays.
“The halves were good and defended tough as well. At times our game-management needed to be better, but it is an unbelievable win for us.
“We have a bunch of guys who love spending time with each other and we probably wanted to work the hardest out of the two teams.”
Chester confirmed Kershaw will keep his place.
“He didn’t look out of place at all,” he observed.
“I thought he was fantastic.
“There’s a couple of things defensively we need to work on, but he is a handful to put down.
“He’s one of the strongest kids in the team.
“He had tears in his eyes afterwards because he’s got his opportunity and played really well.
“He will get a run of games. If you play well in this team you keep your spot.”
Chester is hopeful hookers Kyle Wood and Tyler Randell could return for Sunday’s game at Hull.