Kop that - prop Craig aims to help Wakefield Trinity to shock derby win at Castleford Tigers

Wakefield Trinity are “flying high” as they aim to create a second successive shock in Betfred Super League.

Craig Kopczak. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Trinity will make the short trip to Castleford Tigers this evening five days after getting off the mark with an against-the-odds 18-8 win over one of the competition favourites, Warrington Wolves.

It was only Wakefield’s fourth victory in their last 17 league matches, but proved they are capable of matching - and beating - the top sides when they get their game together.

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Trinity will need to put in a similar effort, at least, to take two points away from the Jungle, but front-rower Craig Kopczak insisted they will “go in with confidence” after bouncing back from a poor start to the campaign.

Tom Johnstone races in for Trinity's winning try agianst Warrington. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“The boys are flying high now, but we want to back that win up,” pledged the former Bradford and Salford prop who is in his second season at Wakefield.

“If we go to Cas and lose it takes a bit away from it.

“It is a derby and it’s going to be an exciting game.

“We haven’t won there for a long time, but we are going to go there with the confidence to do that.”

Wakefield players celebrate Tom Johnstone's clinching try against Warrington. Picture by Tony Johnson.

That self-belief is fuelled by an easing of Trinity’s long-running injury crisis.

The influential trio of Tinirau Arona, David Fifita and Danny Brough remain on the sidelines, along with off-season recruit Alex Walker, but George King (ankle) and Jordan Crowther (cheekbone), who have not played since being hurt against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day, are in contention for this evening and veteran centre Ryan Atkins (ankle) could return after missing last week’s win.

“We’ve got an important run coming up and it was good to knock Warrington off,” Kopczak added.

“They were flying high with two wins and it’s credit to the boys and to our defence. We worked hard in the two weeks we had off and it showed out there.

“It is good to get some points on the board and we have got players coming back in so there’s competition for places.

“That’s good, it keeps everyone on their toes and it’s why you get performances like that.”

Trinity’s two games so far have been a complete contrast, the hard-fought victory over Warrington following a tame 30-10 surrender at Hull KR in round one.

Kopczak reckons last week’s effort was a more accurate reflection of the way Trinity prepared in pre-season and the strength of their squad.

“We let ourselves down in that first game,” he admitted.

“But credit to the boys, we have worked hard, we’ve put things right in training and it showed [against Warrington].

“When you show that much resilience and that work ethic, that’s what happens - you come away with the spoils.”

The Jungle has not been a happy hunting ground for Trinity in recent seasons.

Tigers are on a 13-match winning run against their near rivals, stretching back to 2015 and will be expected to extend that hot streak tonight, despite their loss at Catalans Dragons six days ago.

But the early rounds have suggested Super League will be a much tighter competition this year, with Huddersfield Giants boasting the only unbeaten record and just Toronto Wolfpack still looking for their first points.

Kopczak noted: “There’s been shocks everywhere. Everyone’s beating everyone so it’s an entertaining league and that’s great for the fans, but it means we have to take it game by game and do what we need to do.”