FORMER TEAM-MATES Chris Chester and Dave Furner will be in rival camps when Wakefield Trinity travel to Leeds Rhinos tonight.
Chester has revived Trinity’s fortunes since taking over around Easter 2016 and is backing his former colleague to do the same at Leeds.
Rhinos were close to relegation last year and have won only one of their opening four fixtures this term, but Chester can already see Furner’s influence taking effect.
Tonight is Rhinos’ first home game of the season after away defeats by Warrington Wolves, Wigan and St Helens and a victory at Salford Red Devils.
Leeds led 22-10 at half-time against Saints last week and Chester believes they will only get better.
“The good thing about Leeds this year is, I wouldn’t say they are predictable, but they’ve got some structure you can kind of game plan for,” said Chester.
“In recent years it has just been a game based on off-load and push and everybody flooding through the ruck.
“Dave has come in and put his stamp on and they are playing with real flair and they’ve still got that off-load and quickness around the ruck.”
Though Leeds’s marquee signings have captured the headlines, Chester is equally impressed with one of their longer-serving players.
“They’ve got some individuals who have been playing particularly well,” he observed.
Dave has come in and put his stamp on and they are playing with real flair and they’ve still got that off-load and quickness around the ruck.Chris Chester
“Tom Briscoe has been carrying the ball really well and I really like Trent Merrin and Konrad Hurrell.
“There are some individuals there we need to look after and try and negate somehow.”
However, Trinity are also improving following defeats in their opening two games and will travel in buoyant mood after getting off the mark for the season eight days ago.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be confident,” insisted Chester.
“We’ve had two really good performances the last two weeks.
“We took Saints right to the last minute and got a scrappy win – but a deserved one – last week against Catalans.
“There’s no reason why we can’t go to Leeds and give a really good account of themselves.
“We are coming up against a big, physical team.
“We have faced two of those teams in the last couple of weeks and it will be another physical game.”