Wakefield Trinity 30 Leigh Centurions 20 - Coach Chris Chester to press Joe Westerman’s England claims

WAKEFIELD TRINITY coach Chris Chester plans to sing forward Joe Westerman’s praises to England coach Shaun Wane this week.

Try time: Wakefield's Mason Lino scores against Leigh. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Westerman made his 350th career appearance in Trinity’s 30-20 victory over Leigh Centurions yesterday and scored his 100th try. He has been outstanding for Wakefield all season and particularly during their current three-game winning run.

Chester believes Westerman, who had had previous spells with Castleford Tigers, Hull and Warrington Wolves, is as well – if not better – than at any stage in his career.

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“We have given him a freedom to play what he sees,” said Chester.

Get in: Wakefield's Mason Lino celebrates with Brad Walker and Tinirau Arona after scoring a try. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

“He has got a really good pass-selection, he knows when to play short and when to play out the back.

“He is playing the best rugby I have seen him play for a long time.

“I am meeting Shaun Wane on Tuesday and will certainly be singing Joe’s praises.

“He played 80 minutes [yesterday] and did some really good stuff.”

Leigh, who are bottom of Super League and have not won this season, raced into an 8-0 lead through a superb solo try by Joe Mellor and two Ryan Brierley goals.

It took Trinity until the final five minutes of the first half to get their game together, then they scored back-to-back tries to take a 12-8 lead.

Jay Pitts went over from Reece Lyne’s pass, after Westerman, Dave Fifita – who did well to keep the ball alive – and Max Jowitt had handled.

Trinity immediately received two six-agains and Fifita again did the damage with an offload to James Batchelor who came up with a strong finish.

Wakefield went two scores clear soon after the interval through Westerman’s touchdown, but Leigh hit back, out of the blue, on 54 minutes when Mellor backed up Craig Mullen’s break to score his second try, which Brierley converted,

Lewis Tierney then accelerated past Jowitt and Brierley’s touchline conversion edged Leigh two points in front.

But successive knock-ons from last tackle kicks on Leigh’s line allowed Wakefield to build huge pressure and it paid off in the 72nd minute when Jowitt’s pass found Kay and the in-form winger got over against his former club.

With two minutes remaining Mason Lino put on some smart footwork to score a lovely solo try to seal the win, also adding his fifth conversion from as many attempts.

Chester admitted: “Leigh made it very difficult for us, but we found a way to win.

“We weren’t great, it was very, very scrappy.

Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Kershaw, Lyne, Tupou, Kay, Miller, Lino, Arona, B Walker, Tanginoa, Pitts, Batchelor, Westerman. Subs Fifita, K Wood, Battye, Arundel.

Leigh Centurions: Elliot, Tierney, Sa’u, Thornley, Gelling, Brierley, Mellor, Ioane, Hood, McCarthy, Hellewell, Gee, Bell. Subs Wildie, Peats, Mullen, Ellis.

Referee: S Mikalauskas (Leigh).

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