WAKEFIELD TRINITY WILDCATS head coach Chris Chester says tomorrow’s visit from Super League leaders Warrington Wolves will be an ideal indicator of his own side’s progress.
For all Trinity have been transformed since he took the helm in March, winning seven from eight games, the previous time they played a side of such repute they did slip up.
Furthermore, Trinity were far from slick either in Sunday’s 40-22 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win over League 1 visitors Toulouse
“The last time we got a test against a top-four team we did come up short,” said Chester, referring to last month’s 46-28 home defeat by his former club Hull FC.
“So, this is a good yardstick of where we are at and we certainly need to improve on last weekend’s performance, but it is a game we are looking forward to.
“It wasn’t a bad time to have an off-day against Toulouse.
“A lot of players throughout the team under-performed and only one or two came out with any real credit.
“We have been good the last seven weeks since I have been in charge so I can cop one average performance.
“But we’ve just got to make sure we don’t back that performance up this week. We have got to be a lot better.”
Their chances of doing that are enhanced given the quality of personnel returning to his ranks.
Prop Nick Scruton and second-row Anthony Tupou both come back in after being rested for the Cup contest while centres Bill Tupou and Joe Arundel are each included in the 19-man squad after recovering from knee injuries.
Jason Walton, Stuart Howarth and Richie Owen are the ones who drop out along with Andy Yates who starts a three-game ban.
That said, Warrington have bolstered their own side, too, with the inclusion of two England internationals Ben Westwood and Ryan Atkins, who both started out their Super League careers at Belle Vue, plus full-back Matty Russell.
They replace youngsters Morgan Smith, Daniel Murray and Joe Ryan in the 19-man squad picked to face Oldham last week.
On Warrington, Chester added: “Tony Smith has got them playing really well.
“They play a really good brand of football and Kurt Gidley has taken Super League by storm.
“I have been really impressed with them.
“They have got one of the best packs in the competition and they like to play with the ball.
“The have two of the best front-rowers in the competition and Daryl Clark is playing the best I’ve seen him play for a couple of years.”
“I like watching them on television and we are under no illusions about how tough it is going to be, but we have been pretty good at home this year.
“We feel like we have got a good chance against anybody.”