I aged 10 years in last five min­utes, jokes Chester af­ter Wake­field’s tri­umph

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - DAVE CRAVEN

WAKE­FIELD TRIN­ITY coach Chris Chester ad­mits he can “sleep bet­ter” at last af­ter his side ended their los­ing run with a fine win over Su­per League lead­ers St He­lens yes­ter­day.

Trin­ity had lost their pre­vi­ous five matches, but pro­duced an ex­cel­lent dis­play to de­feat Saints 24-20 at Belle Vue.

Chester watched his side ini­tially surge ahead against op­po­nents who had only been beaten once be­fore this sea­son.

Saints staged a fight­back, but Liam Finn – back play­ing despite a bro­ken fin­ger – slot­ted the last of his four goals to make sure of a much-needed win.

“I aged about 10 years in the last five min­utes, but I couldn’t be more proud of my play­ers,” said Chester, whose Wake­field side had won their open­ing four games be­fore hit­ting that slump.

“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.

“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.”

Castle­ford Tigers recorded their big­gest win of the sea­son with an em­phatic 41-0 destruc­tion of a woe­ful Cata­lans Dragons side.

But Hud­der­s­field Giants’ prob­lems con­tin­ued to mount.

Still wait­ing to ap­point a new head coach af­ter Rick Stone’s sack­ing, they lost 30-12 at home to fel­low strug­glers Sal­ford Red Devils.

Veteran half-back Danny Brough was sent off for dis­sent late on so he is set to miss Fri­day’s game, which does not get any eas­ier given it is a trip to Saints.

Giants re­main with just two wins all sea­son and the only other side be­low them is Cata­lans.

WAKE­FIELD TRIN­ITY 24

ST HE­LENS 20

SU­PER LEAGUE

WAKE­FIELD TRIN­ITY broke their five-game los­ing run in un­ex­pected, but de­served, fash­ion yes­ter­day by stun­ning Bet­fred Su­per League lead­ers St He­lens.

Trin­ity led 22-6 mid­way through the first half, but were hang­ing on for much of the sec­ond as Saints threw ev­ery­thing at them.

Liam Finn’s late penalty was Wake­field’s only score af­ter the 23rd minute, but coach Chris Chester felt his side were full value for their vic­tory.

“I think I’ve aged about 10 years in that last five min­utes,” he re­flected af­ter­wards.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the group; they’ve been there or there­abouts in the last five weeks and we’ve been a bit un­lucky, but it’s nice to be on the right side of a close game.

“I’m de­lighted to get that mon­key off our backs. It’s a mas­sive win for ev­ery­one in­volved with the club.”

It seemed omi­nous when Saints scored in the first set of the game, Mark Per­ci­val cross­ing from Ben Barba’s pass and Danny Richard­son con­vert­ing from wide out.

But Trin­ity came up with a rapid re­sponse and built what proved to be a match-win­ning lead dur­ing a 17-minute spell when their fin­ish­ing was ut­terly ruth­less.

Ben Jones-Bishop got on the end of quick pass­ing by Scott Grix and Liam Finn to dive over at the cor­ner. Finn’s touch­line con­ver­sion lev­elled the scores af­ter six min­utes and Trin­ity were ahead seven later.

Saints’ Matty Smith made a break and knocked on, JonesBishop kicked ahead on the free play and was taken out by Zeb Taia and from the penalty Finn and Ja­cob Miller com­bined to cre­ate the open­ing for Reece Lyne.

The third try was spe­cial. Bill Tupou’s tackle to win pos­ses­sion be­gan it, and then a lovely dummy and some nice foot­work took Justin Horo past the fi­nal de­fender for a su­perb touch­down, from Tyler Ran­dell’s pass.

Finn’s third goal made it 18-6 and Trin­ity went fur­ther in front of 23 min­utes when Tupou scooped up a loose ball and pow­ered over through some weak tack­ling.

There was no goal and Trin­ity only man­aged two more points in the game, but they had built a big enough lead. Saints struck straight back through Tommy Makin­son and then Per­ci­val scored his sec­ond on the stroke of half-time, cut­ting Wake­field’s lead to 22-14.

Trin­ity had been ahead at the break in four of their five de­feats and their nerves were jan­gling when Luke Dou­glas crashed on to Theo Fages’ pass to go over for a try which Richard­son im­proved early in the sec­ond half.

Trin­ity missed a golden op­por­tu­nity just be­fore the hour when the out­stand­ing Tupou sent Horo storm­ing clear with Matty Ashurst in sup­port on his in­side, but he opted to go for the line him­self and was tack­led by Ryan Mor­gan.

With nine min­utes left Tupou snatched the ball from Mor­gan to pre­vent a Saints try and broke 60 me­tres up­field.

He didn’t have the legs to go all the way, but a high shot by Luke Thomp­son on Keegan Hirst al­lowed Finn to ex­tend the lead to four points.

Saints al­most snatched it two min­utes later when Barba broke clear and passed to half-back Jonny Lomax, who was brought down by a high tackle from Ran­dell.

The hooker was sin-binned, but Per­ci­val fol­lowed him – for foul lan­guage to a touch judge - soon af­ter­wards and Wake­field de­servedly held on.

The re­sult jus­ti­fied Chester’s decision to drop three of his firstchoice play­ers.

He said: “We made some changes and didn’t pick Tom John­stone, Ryan Hamp­shire or Pauli Pauli.

“They know why they weren’t se­lected.

“It sends clear mes­sage to the rest of the group that it doesn’t mat­ter who you are - if you’re not play­ing well, you will find your­self sat on the side­lines with me.”

PIC­TURE: JONATHAN GAWTHORPE

JU­BI­LANT: Wake­field Trin­ity’s Bill Tupou cel­e­brates his try against St He­lens and re­ceives a hug from Joe Arun­del. In­set, Danny Brough was sent off as Hud­der­s­field Giants lost to Sal­ford.

PIC­TURES: JONATHAN GAWTHORPE

BLIS­TER­ING START: Wake­field pair Justin Horo, above, and Ben Jones-Bishop, left, scored early tries as Trin­ity ended a four-match los­ing run with an ex­cel­lent 24-20 vic­tory over Bet­fred Su­per League lead­ers St He­lens at Belle Vue yes­ter­day.

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