Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Trinity: Willie Poching ready to change course of season in 'biggest derby'

Wakefield Trinity may have suffered the agony of a golden-point defeat last week but the performance against St Helens reinforced Willie Poching's belief that the club will remain in Super League.

Trinity were on course for a stunning victory at Belle Vue after taking a 12-0 lead into the final 25 minutes, only to succumb to a late fightback by the champions.

Jack Welsby's winning drop goal left Wakefield on their knees but Poching saw enough from his team to leave him convinced that they will pull themselves off the bottom of the table in the final seven rounds.

When asked whether he was more confident about staying up after pushing the competition's best side all the way, Poching replied: "I'm the same.

Willie Poching's side are bottom on points difference. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"We still need to collect points and get wins. There's a belief that those will come if we repeat that performance.

"I was confident before that game and still am now in the group.

"We were really physical and did it for 80 minutes. We needed to do it for 84 in the end.

"To a man, everybody put their hand up which is really important for us going forward. That's the type of team we are.

Wakefield Trinity players show their disappointment at the end of the game against St Helens. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"We've got to take confidence from that, but the real lesson is how to repeat that. That's what the good teams are able to do - and we want to be that."

A five-day turnaround left a depleted Wakefield with no time to feel sorry for themselves ahead of tonight's derby against Castleford Tigers at Wheldon Road.

Poching appreciates the significance of a fixture that has been dominated by the Tigers in recent years.

Trinity have lost the previous 17 meetings between the clubs dating back to February 2015, a wretched record that Poching is determined to end.

Castleford Tigers were too good for Hull FC last week. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"It's the biggest derby in my time at the club collectively because of where we sit and how much we need the win to give ourselves some confidence," said Poching, who played for Wakefield between 1999 and 2001 before returning as a coach two years ago.

"I know how hungry people around the town are for this win. It's been a while since this club has got a win over them.

"We've just got to go out and perform for the fans, the club but most of all for ourselves and what we need."

Castleford sit in a position of relative comfort in the play-off places after putting four points between themselves and the chasing pack thanks to five wins in six games.

Lee Radford has lost a whole host of players to injury in the last month. (Picture: SWPix.com)

But Lee Radford was quick to stress that the two points are just as valuable to his team as they eye a home play-off eliminator.

"You've got a team that are desperate not to get relegated and a team that are really desperate to make a push for the top four," said the Tigers head coach.

"It's important that our desperation is visibly higher than theirs."

On Castleford's remarkable record in the fixture, Radford added with a smile: "I think I've got a decent record in derbies anyway. My record was outstanding against Hull KR as well.

"You never want to lose a derby. This Friday is no different."

The Tigers have had to dig deep in recent weeks amid a worsening injury crisis that has robbed Radford of a host of key men.

Radford has been forced to recall Cain Robb, Jason Qareqare and Kieran Hudson from Whitehaven to leave him with 20 fit players for the derby.

Castleford have shown fortitude to cement fifth spot but Radford is wary of the strain being put on the core of his side.

"The injuries are coming thick and fast but as I've said, the group are really digging in and swimming harder against the tide," he said.

"As long as we continue to do that, we're in with a chance of winning any fixture.

"I really hope it doesn't catch up with us at some point. I think it would be unjust if that was the case because of how hard the group have worked.

"We're due some good luck on that front so hopefully that might be now until the end of the season."