Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity - Chris Chester heads to Headingley confident ahead of '˜big month'

THE DAYS when Wakefield Trinity travelled to Headingley hoping merely to keep the score down are gone.

Wakefield head coach, Chris ChesterPicture Scott Merrylees
Wakefield head coach, Chris ChesterPicture Scott Merrylees

Trinity will go into tonight’s derby in confident mood after successive victories and with the knowledge they have won on their last three visits to Leeds Rhinos.

Two of those were in pre-season games, but Trinity were 20-16 victors at Headingley in Super League 12 months ago and finished above Leeds in the table last term.

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“We are playing some decent football and we’re not afraid of anybody,” says their coach Chris Chester.

“It’s a very open competition this year and Leeds have come off the back of a really good performance against Catalans.

“They will be up for it and it’s another home game for them, but we’ll go full of confidence and see what happens.”

Wakefield lost their first two games this year, both times after leading in the second half.

It looked like being a similar story at St Helens two weeks ago when a 10-4 half-time advantage was turned into a two-point deficit inside the final 10 minutes, but a late try secured a morale-boosting win to end an 11-game losing run.

Last weekend, against Salford Red Devils, Wakefield were 12-2 up at the break, went 22-12 behind and again hit back to snatch a last-gasp success.

Chester admitted his men need to be better after the interval tonight, but is confident Leeds won’t take them by surprise.

“We know what they like to do,” he said. “They like to throw the ball around.

“We are excited for it, it should be a good, open game.”

With Wakefield beginning round five in seventh place on the table, two points adrift of Rhinos, it is likely to be a key game in the race for the top-eight.

“If we win it takes us a bit further away from those underneath us,” Chester said.

“If we get beaten we’re back in the fight again. It is still very early, but we’ve got an important month coming up with some winnable games and a couple of home fixtures as well in there.

“It would be nice to go into Easter with a bit of form, going into the Castleford game.”

Wakefield will be without in-form centre Reece Lyne who scored two tries last weekend, including the 78th minute winner, but suffered medial ligament knee damage in the final seconds.