Hull FC v Wakefield Trinity – Chris Chester hoping Andy Last’s inside knowledge can help down Airlie Birds

WAKEFIELD Trinity chief Chris Chester says assistant coach Andy Last has been “bouncing all week” at the prospect of facing former club Hull FC tonight.

HOPEFUL: Chris Chester, head coach of Wakefield Trinity. Picture: George Wood/Getty Images.

Last ended a 23-year association with hometown Hull in December having been overlooked for the head coach’s role.

He had been a long-time FC assistant and took over as interim head coach when Lee Radford was sacked last March, leading the Black and Whites to a Super League semi-final.

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However, the East Yorkshire club opted to bring in Brett Hodgson, the Australian who has enjoyed an unbeaten start ahead of this evening’s Betfred Super League game at KCOM Stadium.

Surplus to requirements at first-team level, Last sought a fresh challenge by joining Chester’s coaching staff at Trinity but they are still awaiting their first win after three league defeats and a Challenge Cup exit at the hands of Catalans Dragons.

They look to remedy that tonight when another Yorkshire derby also takes place in the city as Hull KR host Leeds Rhinos .

Chester said: “Lasty’s been bouncing all week.

“It was the first fixture he looked at; when they came out straight away he was saying ‘when do we play Hull FC, when do we play Hull FC..?!’

THAT WAS THEN: Andy Last, during his time as interim head coach at Hull FC last season. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“He’s been great. He’s not let the excitement get the better of him during the week. You can see he desperately wants to get the result, as we all do. And it’d be really pleasing if we did get that result. It’d be a massive boost for everybody’s confidence.”

Chester says it would be naive to think Last can unearth too much about his former side, given FC have altered style under former New South Wales State of Origin full-back Hodgson.

“I think it would as they have changed the way they play and the calls,” he said.

“Andy does speak to the Hull players on a regular basis; he’s got that good relationship there.

POSITIVE: Scans show that Jacob Miller could be back in action for Wakefield Trinity within four-six weeks. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“We’ve not lent on Lasty too much this week, though, as the team is probably a different team. But it’s a Hull FC team that still has deficiencies in its game just like we have ours.

“In that respect, it’s been good to pick Lasty’s brains in terms of what he thought about certain players and where he feels we can get Hull FC.

“The message is we have to be consistent for 80 minutes this week. It doesn’t matter what Andy tells us or what we say before the game: it’s all about actions now more than words.

“We know what’s been letting us down the first four weeks and it’s important we change that.

“It’s lapses in concentration that’s costing us.”

Friday’s 34-6 loss at champions St Helens followed a defeat by the same scoreline at Wigan Warriors, with Trinity also losing 28-22 at Leeds Rhinos.

Wakefield have received some positive news in that captain Jacob Miller’s knee injury is not as bad as first feared, scans showing an MCL strain which could see the stand-off back within four to six weeks.

Ryan Hampshire switches to stand-off, Max Jowitt comes in at full-back, Kelepi Tanginoa is back from a ban and winger Liam Kay could make his first appearance of the season.

Prop Sam Eseh, 17, is included in the 21-man squad for the first time but Chester says things have “gone very quiet” in their pursuit of NRL front-row Andrew Fifita.

Hull beat Huddersfield Giants and Salford in Super League before winning at Featherstone Rovers in the Challenge Cup.

They dropped their first point when drawing 14-14 with Warrington Wolves after Golden Point extra-time on Sunday.

On comparisions to last year, Chester added: “They look like a together group. They look like they have fine-tuned a few things.

“They have some important players in some key positions: Jake Connor is obviously playing very, very well for Hull and they have started the season really well.

“It will be a physical challenge but also a mental challenge for us. Hull have been there or thereabouts for the last four, five, six years and have had that consistency about them.

“They seem to have found a bit more of a spark. The new coach has come in and you do generally get an improvement and pretty much a clean slate from the coach when that happens.

“The spine is playing well: Connor, the halves and Danny Houghton. The pack’s tough and it’s going to be a really tough game for us but we’re not a bad side ourselves.

“We’ve just been a bit fragile when we’ve faced adversity but we know we are doing a lot of things right. It’s just sorting those concentration lapses that we need to sort.”

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