Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester claimed his club were not safe from relegation despite their dominant 38-10 win over Hull KR.
The victory moved Trinity two points above the Super League drop zone with just three rounds left.
Chester admitted his huge relief to get the win, after five losses in a row but believes the relegation battle still has some twists and turns to come.
“It’s been a really challenging period, probably the most challenging period in my career as a coach,” he said.
“That performance was first-class from my boys, I’m really proud of them. Just to keep them scoreless in that second half. The desperation we showed on the try line.
“We were desperate today, we knew how important this game was. We were probably the more desperate of the two teams.
“It’s [survival] in our hands. We just have to make sure we keep performing like we did. It’s probably one of the best 80-minute performances we’ve had as a group for a hell of a long time. We had a lot of defending to do on the try line and we kept coming up with the right answers.
“We completed 91 per cent in the second half and obviously won the score count 24-0 in the second half – it’s very, very pleasing.
“We’re all delighted.
“I got a bit emotional with the boys in the dressing room. It’s a huge, huge relief. Coaching can be a lonely place sometimes, and it’s certainly been a lonely place these eight, nine weeks.”
Hull KR could be without their full-back Adam Quinlan for the rest of the season after he suffered an abductor injury.
Quinlan was replaced in the first half and Robins coach Tony Smith revealed that the Australian may be sidelined for the final three rounds.
“It’s an abductor issue, whether he’s torn it off the bone, which sounds bad but apparently that’s the better of the two injuries,” Smith said.
“If he hasn’t torn it off the bone and just torn it slightly and it’s still attached, that will be him done for the rest of the season. He’s having that scanned in the morning so we’ll know a lot more then. If it’s the best scenario he’ll probably miss a few games anyway, one or two.”
Wakefield took the lead in the 10th minute when Jacob Miller dived over for his first score, with Danny Brough adding the extras.
Trinity extended their lead to 8-0 six minutes later through a penalty goal by Brough, before it went from bad to worse for the Robins when Ben Jones-Bishop crossed the whitewash.
The visitors shifted the ball to the right, Reece Lyne slipped out of a tackle and drew the winger to put Jones-Bishop through.
However, Hull KR hit back in the 32nd minute through Ben Crooks’s acrobatic effort. Josh Drinkwater launched a bomb into Wakefield’s in-goal area and Crooks leapt highest to collect and score, before Mitch Garbutt used brute strength to power past Wakefield’s defence and crash over. Shaw made no mistake with the conversion as the home side cut the deficit to 14-10 at the break.
Wakefield started the second period with renewed enthusiasm and quickly built on their lead.
Kyle Wood took advantage of a quick play-the-ball to burrow over, which was converted by Brough to increased their advantage to 10 points.
Tupou barged over from acting dummy-half, while Miller crossed after collecting off his own grubber kick. There was still time for Ryan Hampshire to touch down twice, firstly pouncing on a loose ball to cross in front of the travelling fans before the winger added gloss to the scoreline by collecting his own chip over the top.
Hull KR’s defeat leaves them on 18 points, the same as bottom-placed London.
However, Smith is staying calm and refused to blame his players for the loss to Wakefield.
“Some of them were trying too hard,” he said. “But I’m not going to hang them out to try. They’ll learn from it. Nothing has much changed from the situation we were in yesterday.
“We wouldn’t have been out of the woods [in terms of relegation] if we won today. Nor are Wakey – they’re not done and dusted.
“If my team had won today it would have been the same – business as usual. Get on with it and go and try and perform for the next match.
“If you perform it gives you a chance to win. Nothing’s changed from Saturday to today.”
Hull K R: Quinlan, Shaw, Crooks, Linnett, Hall, McGuire, Drinkwater, Masoe, Atkin, Murray, Tomkins, Hauraki, Hadley. Substitutes: Garbutt, Trout, Litten, Mulhern.
Wakefield: Escare, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Hampshire, Miller, Brough, Kopczak, Wood, England, Batchelor, Kirmond, Tanginoa. Substitutes: Randell, Green, Annakin, Tangata.
Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL)