Sec­ond-half dis­play leaves Ch­ester frus­trated with Trin­ity

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - RUGBY LEAGUE - PE­TER SMITH AT BELLE VUE ■ Email: pe­terj.smith@jpress.co.uk ■ Twit­ter: @PeterSmithYEP

IT IS an in­di­ca­tion of how much stan­dards have im­proved at Wake­field Trin­ity that coach Chris Ch­ester could see his team score 44 points in a cru­cial win and ad­mit af­ter­wards to be­ing “dis­ap­pointed” with the per­for­mance.

The 44-22 vic­tory over bot­tom club Widnes Vik­ings – in a re­play of a game which was snowed off three months ago – lifted Trin­ity four points clear of ninth-placed Cata­lans Dragons and a third suc­ces­sive sea­son in the Su­per-8s seems as­sured.

But Wake­field were matched point for point in the sec­ond half, af­ter lead­ing 22-0 at the in­ter­val and Ch­ester was far from im­pressed by his side’s de­fen­sive ef­fort over the fi­nal 40 min­utes.

It was Widnes’s 11th suc­ces­sive league de­feat, a new club record and Ch­ester felt Trin­ity should have win by a big­ger mar­gin.

“I’ve let the play­ers know we need to be a lot more ruth­less de­fen­sively,” he said.

“They got too many easy tries and we came up with some poor in­di­vid­ual de­ci­sions and some pretty av­er­age con­tact in the sec­ond half.

“We got the two points and that’s what we wanted, but I’m dis­ap­pointed with the way we ap­proached that sec­ond half.”

Ch­ester said the un­hap­pi­ness ex­tended into Trin­ity’s chang­ing room.

The coach added: “The lads are dis­ap­pointed them­selves.

“They were a bit de­flated at the end of the game. They ex­pect bet­ter stan­dards than we had in that sec­ond half.

“Hav­ing said that, I thought the first half – at 22-0 – was prob­a­bly the best 40 min­utes we’ve had de­fen­sively.

“They asked us quite a lot of ques­tions on our try­line and we came up with some re­ally good de­ci­sions.

“That kind of flipped on its head in the sec­ond half.

“It was dis­ap­point­ing to con­cede 22 points, but the pos­i­tive is we got the win.”

Widnes were com­pet­i­tive early on, but back-to-back tries put Trin­ity in con­trol.

Af­ter 18 min­utes the dead­lock was bro­ken through a trade­mark try by Tom Johnstone, the winger’s pace and foot­work bam­boo­zling Widnes’s de­fence from well in­side his own half.

Then Tini­rau Arona skit­tled de­fend­ers aside on a pow­er­ful run and on the next play Ben Jones-Bishop scooted over af­ter mak­ing a fine catch from Ja­cob Miller’s cross kick.

Widnes heads dropped af­ter Jones-Bishop’s try and Trin­ity added an­other 12 points be­fore the break.

Miller and Max Jowitt cre­ated a try for the im­pres­sive Bill Tupou, then Ryan Hamp­shire’s kick was col­lected by Batch­e­lor and his off-load sent Reece Lyne over.

Batch­e­lor con­verted all but the first touch­down and Tupou’s sec­ond try – just three min­utes af­ter the re­sump­tion – en­sured there would be no game-turn­ing fight­back.

The vis­i­tors broke their duck through a div­ing fin­ish by Ste­fan Marsh and Danny Walker barged over from close range, Tom Gil­more con­vert­ing, af­ter Batch­e­lor, who fin­ished with five goals, had grabbed a de­served try.

Arona touched down af­ter Gil Dud­son and Gil­more failed to deal with Miller’s kick be­hind their own line, but Ryan Ince went over for Widnes’s fourth try, goaled by Gil­more to com­plete their scor­ing. They were within sec­onds of ‘win­ning’ the sec­ond half, but Lyne scored a fine try in the fi­nal mo­ments and Hamp­shire added the ex­tras.

Wake­field now have breath­ing space in the bat­tle to avoid be­ing dragged into the mid­dle-eights Qual­i­fiers, but Ch­ester stressed: “I am not look­ing at the teams un­der­neath us.”

He said: “We are two points off fifth now and that’s where we’re look­ing.

“We’re not look­ing at Cata­lans or Hud­der­s­field or Leeds, we’re look­ing at Hull and the teams above them.

“We got the job done to­day and it puts us in a re­ally good po­si­tion.”

TRY: Tom Johnstone dives over for a touch­down as Wake­field Trin­ity in­flicted an­other de­feat on Widnes in Su­per League.

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