Wakefield Trinity v Leeds Rhinos - Derby is crucial game for both clubs, insists Chris Chester
Although Leeds’s troubles are well-documented, their West Yorkshire rivals have hit their own mini-slump.
Chester’s team have lost their last three games to drop off the pace in Super League and also fall out of the Challenge Cup at the hands of St Helens on Saturday.
They have beaten Leeds twice this season including a 26-24 victory on Easter Monday and an impressive success at Headingley.
But the 10th-placed visitors – who gained a crucial win over London Broncos at Magic Weekend – are now coached by former Trinity chief Richard Agar following Dave Furner’s sacking.
“They are a different side to the Rhinos we played over Easter,” insisted Chester.
“I’ve seen some improvements in them, particularly against London, and they have got a few bodies back in their 19-man squad.
“It is an important game for both sides; for Leeds in terms of wanting to pull away from the bottom and us to get our season back up and running.
“It has been a tough four, five, six weeks for us, especially with the personnel we’ve got missing and this is kind of a must-win for both teams.
“But they are all big games now going into the end of the season.”
Chester revealed Junior Sa’u, the on-loan Salford Red Devils centre, would continue with the club after his initial one month period.
He arrived last month as part of a swap deal that saw Pauli Pauli go the other way and he is back in the squad tonight after being Cup-tied last week.
“I think there’s an arrangement in place with Junior and it seems to work for both parties,” said Chester.
“Junior’s been great for us; he’s a good talker on the field and a calming influence. He’s got a really good carry and Pauli’s obviously getting some really good time over at Salford.
“There’s some call-back in place. We have an arrangement.”
Wakefield are keen to extend the deal considering Joe Arundel has suffered a setback in his recovery from a pectoral surgery,
The centre hoped to be back next week but is now looking at another month.