Ch­ester de­light over Saints win

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

WAKE­FIELD coach Chris Ch­ester says he will sleep bet­ter af­ter watch­ing his side pull off a mem­o­rable 24-20 vic­tory over Bet­fred Su­per League lead­ers St He­lens – Hud­der­s­field Gi­ants next Su­per League op­po­nents.

Ch­ester’s men had lost their pre­vi­ous five matches, the last three by a com­bined to­tal of just eight points, but this time they held their nerve in a nail-bit­ing fin­ish to claim a first home win over Saints for six years.

Af­ter rac­ing into a 22-6 lead with four tries in an 18-minute spell, Trinity were forced to with­stand a tremen­dous fight­back by the vis­i­tors, who cut the deficit to just two points early in the sec­ond half and were press­ing their line right to the end of a thrilling con­test.

“I aged about 10 years in the last five min­utes but I couldn’t be more proud of my play­ers,” Ch­ester said.

“We’ve been there or there­abouts for the last five games and it’s nice to win a tight one. I feel we de­serve it and it will do the play­ers a world of good.

“I’m re­ally pleased, it means I can sleep a bit bet­ter tonight.

“The play­ers copped a fair bit but they stuck to­gether and came up with a re­ally good per­for­mance. Bar­ring the first cou­ple of min­utes, I thought we were very good.

“St He­lens are a fan­tas­tic at­tack­ing team but we put them under pres­sure with the way we de­fended.

“It’s a mas­sive win for the club but it will mean noth­ing if we don’t back it up at Sal­ford next Fri­day. Af­ter go­ing on a los­ing run, it’s im­por­tant we now go on a win­ning run.”

Ch­ester says he dropped winger Tom John­stone, who is in Eng­land coach Wayne Ben­nett’s elite train­ing squad, as well as for­ward Pauli Pauli and half-back Ryan Hamp­shire, af­ter a run of dis­ap­point­ing form.

“They know the rea­sons,” Ch­ester said. “It sends a clear mes­sage to the rest of the group that, if they’re not do­ing their job, they will find them­selves sat on the side­lines with me.

“Ev­ery­body who came into the team de­serves to keep their spot.”

Eng­land cen­tre Mark Per­ci­val scored two first-half tries, tak­ing his to­tal for the sea­son to 12, but was sin-binned just be­fore the end for us­ing foul and abusive lan­guage to touch­judge Chris Ken­dall as Saints went down to their sec­ond de­feat of the sea­son.

The lead­ers were with­out skip­per James Roby be­cause of a rib car­ti­lage in­jury but coach Justin Hol­brook re­fused to use his ab­sence as an ex­cuse.

“You don’t re­place play­ers like that eas­ily but it didn’t have a bear­ing on it,” Hol­brook said.

“I was dis­ap­pointed with our ef­fort. It was a close game but we couldn’t come away with the win.

“Full credit to Wake­field, I thought they just worked harder than us.

“Ob­vi­ously we kept go­ing to the end but when you look back (at) that 18-minute pe­riod, it cost us.

“It was un­like us to let some soft tries in.”

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