Trinity have made a habit of collapsing after the break, but left it late this time, being only two points adrift until Catalans Dragons scored three converted tries in the final 12 minutes to seal a flattering 38-18 success at Belle Vue yesterday.
Though Catalans were the better team, the 20-point margin didn’t reflect Trinity’s effort.
Errors and poor decision-making at crucial times, however, proved costly for the home side and Chester admitted: “It was another disappointing loss, another game where we put in a lot of effort, but [there was] a lack of quality in the team.”
He added: “We have got to make sure individuals don’t keep making the same mistakes, but unfortunately for us, they have been doing.
“It is very frustrating, I don’t think there was anything between the sides.
“Sometimes when you are in a tough spell, like we are at the moment, things don’t quite go your way, but we are confident things will turn around.
“Effort-wise, it was really good again, it’s just concentration levels at times, at key moments in the game.
A penalty and six-again laid the foundation for Catalans’ opening try, after nine minutes.
Ben Garcia and James Maloney moved the ball left and Dean Whare’s fine pass put in-form winger Tom Davies over at the corner for the first of his hat-trick.
The lead was short-lived though, as Catalans failed to complete their set from the restart and Trinity hit straight back through debutant Olly Ashall-Bott
Signed on an initial two-week loan from Huddersfield Giants, following injuries to Ryan Hampshire and Jacob Miller, the full-back’s smart footwork close to the line, from Mason Lino’s pass, left Catalans’ defence clutching at thin air as he cut through for a superb try,
‘Pressure relievers’ have been frustrating Chester all season, his side having developed a habit of making errors when they seem to have opponents on the ropes.
After Ashall-Bott’s try, Trinity received three successive penalties and then forced a line drop-out, but that was fumbled near half-way by winger Lee Kershaw and within five minutes, the hosts were 10 points behind
At the end of the set from Kershaw’s error, Josh Drinkwater lofted a kick which was taken on the line by Mike McMeeken, the former Castleford forward who continued his impressive run of form with Catalans’ second try.
A set restart following the restart put Trinity back under pressure and Davies went over again, off Sam Tomkins’s pass.
Both tries were converted, but Wakefield, again, came up with an immediate response, this time through Max Jowitt.
It was smart work, in the set from a penalty, the full-back – who was filling in as an emergency stand-off – kicking behind the defence and running through to touch down for a reviving try which Lino improved.
Four minutes before the interval, Wakefield again turned over possession and Whare extended their lead with a strong finish from Tomkins’ pass.
Aided by three penalties, Trinity drew first blood in the second period, through a lovely finish by Reece Lyne, off Joe Westerman’s pass.
Lino’s third goal made it a two-point ball game and it stayed that way until the 68th minute.
Brilliant Wakefield defence held Jason Baitieri up over the line, before Ben Garcia got across the whitewash, but spilled the ball. Liam Kay dived over at the other end, but Bill Tupou’s pass was ruled forward and that was a crucial call as Dragons scored next, Whare grabbing the try off McMeeken’s offload.
That took the steam out of Trinity, Davies’s third try settled it in the 78th minute, off Whare’s pass and Samisoni Langi scored in the next set, Maloney improving all three.
Chester felt the disallowed try was a turning point.
“That was very, very tough,” he said. “I have looked at it and that is a bad decision in my opinion.”
The Trinity coach was also unhappy to receive only a penalty for an alleged dangerous tackle on Tupou.
“I thought something needed to be done on that spear tackle,” he added.
“Once again, we will probably find an individual gets suspended and another team will benefit from it.”
Conversely, Catalans coach Steve McNamara said his players were adamant a try should have been awarded for both of their second-half near-misses.
McNamara, a former Wakefield player, insisted he had never been worried, but stressed: “It was a really tough game, which we knew it would be.
“They are a tough team to play against.”
Wakefield Trinity: Ashall-Bott, Kershaw, Lyne, Tupou, Kay, Jowitt, Lino, Green, K Wood, Tanginoa, Pitts, Batchelor, Westerman. Substitutes: Fifita, Arona, Battye, Eaves
Catalans Dragons: S Tomkins, Davies, Langi, Whare, Yaha, Maloney, Drinkwater, Dyudson, McIlorum, Bousquet, Seguier, McMeeken, Garcia. Substitutes: Mourgue, J Tomkins, Baitieri, Dezaria.
Referee: C Kendall (Huddersfield).
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