A 32-18 loss to Warrington Wolves last Friday saw Wakefield’s winless start to the Betfred Super League season; Trinity host Hull FC in the opener of Matchday 12 on Thursday, with new signing Luke Gale in line to play; watch live on Sky Sports Arena from 7.30pm
Last update: 05/23/09 5:54 p.m.
For 53 minutes against Warrington Wolves last Friday, everyone associated with Wakefield Trinity could have been forgiven for thinking that maybe, just maybe, their season was finally starting to turn.
The Betfred Super League wrestlers kept one of the competition’s best players locked at 12-12. That was until Kevin Proctor was shown a red card for a high tackle on Matty Ashton to leave the visitors down to 12 men.
What turned out to be a 32-18 loss at the Halliwell Jones Stadium left the Super League table giving Trinity a grim reading of no wins, no draws, 11 losses and just 71 points scored with 379 against for a point difference of – 249.
It doesn’t get any easier for Mark Applegarth’s side as they host a Hull FC side buoyed by a stoic 14-10 win over Wigan Warriors at Be Well Support Stadium on Thursday, live on sky sportsbut the head coach does his best to maintain a positive attitude.
“I was proud of the performance, it was a bold effort and they kept fighting until the end against one of the contenders in difficult circumstances,” Applegarth said after the loss to Wolves.
“Warrington got off to a quick start with a 12-0 lead but our guys coped really well and fought their way back into the game and it was a tied game at half time.
“Now that we have recovered some bodies you can see the spirit of the team and there are a lot of positives to take from the performance.”
Although no stranger to relegation battles at times, Wakefield has had a constant presence in the Super League since being promoted to the top flight in 1998 and has reached the play-offs on three occasions – although the last of those appearances was took place in 2012.
Twice champions in the 1960s, Trinity is also celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and its historic Belle Vue home, which once graced the big screen in This sporting lifeis undergoing a long-awaited redevelopment to modernize the venue that dates back to the first Northern Union season in 1895.
On the pitch however, Wakefield currently find themselves four points from safety and are favorites to go through the hatch in the final season of automatic promotion and relegation before Super League places are decided by ranking criteria. as well as performance on the field.
A look at the statistics provides insight beyond their results alone. After 11 innings, Trinity has gained the fewest meters in the competition (11,564) with an average gain of just 5.99 meters.
Now that we have some bodies back you can see the spirit of the team and there are a lot of positives to take from the performance.
Wakefield Trinity head coach Mark Applegarth
They have the fewest tries (12), broken tackles (271) and clean breaks too, while at individual level three of their players are in the top 10 for try causes and two others are in the top 10 for break causes. .
The departure of key squad members like half-back Jacob Miller, pack stalwarts David Fifita and Tinirau Arona, and free winger Tom Johnstone – currently averaging a try for the Catalan Dragons – hasn’t helped. things for last season’s finishers in 10th place. either.
It is hoped that the recent signing of former England half-back Luke Gale, who has returned to the Super League after starting the season with part-time Betfred Championship players Keighley Cougars, can help Trinity halt their difficult start to the campaign.
After watching the defeat at Warrington, Gale is in line to face former club Hull FC on Thursday after being named in Applegarth’s 21-man squad for the game, although the 38-year-old has warned his new signing would face competition from one of last week’s try scorers in Morgan Smith.
“It would make a little more sense, but it’s a bigger game than Luke Gale and Hull,” said Applegarth, who also features former second-tier New Zealand international Proctor after avoiding a ban on his red card. – press conference of the match before the arrival of the Blacks and Whites.
“It’s about the team, and he’d be the first to raise his hand and say that. We’ll do what’s right for the team and not just this love affair about Luke Gale playing against his former club.
“Luke Gale will play a big role for Wakefield Trinity, but Morgan Smith did exactly what I asked of him (against Warrington). He scored a nice well deserved try.”
Watch Wakefield Trinity take on Hull FC in the opener of matchday 12 of the 2023 Betfred Super League season live on Sky Sports Arena from 7.30pm Thursday (kick-off 8pm). Also stream on NOW TV.