THE obvious bonus when it comes to the dubious prospect of a ‘dead rubber’ fixture is that sides may just throw caution to the wind.
That is why Wakefield Trinity Wildcats head coach James Webster believes fans – of both sides – could be in for a treat when they round off their campaign against Hull KR at Belle Vue tomorrow.
Each saw their slim hopes of reaching the play-offs finally ended last week and the only jostling to be done now is to fight it out for pride and the less than enticing prospect of ninth spot.
Webster said: “I think it will be a high-scoring game, typical of the last round.
“I wouldn’t say there’s nothing to play for, but both teams will be looking to go out there and play a bit of footy in the last game.
“I imagine we’ll see the ball thrown around a bit by both sides.
“We finished well last year, against Castleford, in a really entertaining game and want to do the same now.
“If we can play the same way we did for the last 50 minutes at Cas last week we will be in with a good chance.”
On Sunday, Wakefield rallied from 22-0 down at Wheldon Road to give the title-chasers an almighty fright before narrowly losing 26-22.
That latter spell was perhaps an insight into what could be forthcoming for 2015.
Firstly, though, Webster wants to see Trinity claw back some dignity after an embarrassing 44-6 thrashing at his former club Hull KR in March, when he, admittedly, was still Richard Agar’s assistant.
“We turned up in a bad frame of mind and they put us away very easily,” he said, though Rovers have lost badly recently against Catalan Dragons and Hull FC.
Webster added: “I think they have a bit to prove after their last couple of games, but I think if we play well we will be more than competitive.”
Wakefield will say goodbye to seven players after tomorrow’s game with Webster making sizeable changes to his group for 2015.
However, Richard Mathers, who joins London Broncos, is ruled out for the Hull KR visit due to a groin injury, Wigan Warriors-bound Taulima Tautai serves a one-match ban and released Harry Siejka does not make the 19-man squad.
However, the retiring prop Andy Raleigh, Matty Wildie (Dewsbury Rams), Lucas Walshaw (Bradford Bulls) and Paul Sykes, who has yet to decide where he will play in 2015, are all named and hope to make farewell appearances.