Super League: Wakefield Trinity Wildcats received a significant boost ahead of tonight’s game in France when they were informed they will only be docked four points for entering administration.
The RFL board of directors made the decision yesterday and followed the punishment handed down to Super League rivals Crusaders when they hit insolvency problems in December.
The governing body had the power to sanction up to six points – a penalty the club felt would result in an ‘unlevel playing field’ – but it took into consideration an agreement by Trinity’s new owners to carry forward some of the liabilities incurred by the previous owners.
The RFL also yesterday gave their formal ratification of Spirit of 1873 Ltd, under the chairmanship of Andrew Glover, as those new owners and now head coach John Kear is relishing the opportunity to get back into action on the field. His team face Catalan Dragons this evening with Kear conceding the trip will be a welcome relief after all the turmoil of recent events.
“We’ve spoken about that,” he said. “It will be great to get in the cocoon, that bubble, fly over to France and then we won’t be pestered.
“We’ll get our sleeves rolled up and address the issue at hand which is a match against a very physical, big and strong Catalan side.”
Although the club’s four new signings have been unable to process their paperwork in time for the contest, Kear believes the majority of those who delivered a laudable show in last week’s opening 40-20 defeat by Castleford deserve another shot.
“The lads who have been here and suffered the trials and tribulations deserve the first stab at it,” he said. “So they’ve got the shirt and it’s up to them to keep the shirt.
“They showed spirit and heart and desire to play for the red, white and blue of Wakefield and I would hope they will step up now.”
Catalan signed Wakefield’s Daryl Millard earlier this week but he will not be making his debut against his former team-mates tonight.
Two of the most impressive sides from last weekend’s Millennium Magic opener – Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants – meet in a televised fixture at Wheldon Road this evening.
Giants coach Nathan Brown, whose side out-played Warrington in Cardiff, said: “We’ve got to improve and back up some of the stuff we did there.
“We are quite aware of how threatening Castleford are.
“They are one of the more unpredictable and better attacking sides in Super League.
“If you give them a bit of slack they can be a very dangerous team.”
Tigers could give a debut to 17-year-old hooker Daryl Clark, rated as one of the most promising youngsters in the British game and yesterday drafted into their 19-man squad following Nick Fozzard’s late withdrawal.