THE MILLION Pound Game was disbanded last year but Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester feels “like it is happening all over again” for his side as Super League’s relegation battle enters its desperate last act.
It was in 2015 they managed to hold their nerve against Championship Bradford Bulls to retain top-flight status in the inaugural decider at Belle Vue.
The Million Pound Game and much-maligned Qualifiers, which put four Super League sides under threat of demotion, were ditched for the traditional one-up, one-down for promotion and relegation this term.
Ironically, though, four clubs – London Broncos, Hull KR, Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield – are all still sweating, all level on 20 points as they head into tonight’s final round.
Sky Sports have produced a dramatic advert depicting the four coaches declaring “Friday The 13th: Unlucky For Some.”
Harsh, but true. Trinity, in ninth, can take matters into their own hands if they beat bottom-placed visitors London.
There are all sorts of things that can happen; we’ve seen that over the last couple of weeks when things haven’t quite gone for us. We can’t be relying on other teams to lose; we have got to make sure we get the result.Wakefield Trinity coach, Chris Chester
Even if they stumble, they will stay up on points difference if KR lose at Salford or Huddersfield fall at home to Catalans Dragons.
“It is like the Million Pound Game all over again from 2015,” said Chester, who has kept his players away from the press and social media this week.
“There are all sorts of things that can happen; we’ve seen that over the last couple of weeks when things haven’t quite gone for us. We can’t be relying on other teams to lose; we have got to make sure we get the result.
“It is in our hands, we have got to win and we have got a good opportunity to do that, at home in front of our own fans. It is a cup final. It is huge for the club.”
Wakefield do have an excellent record on such occasions; this is the fifth time they have gone into the final game in danger of being relegated from Super League and, each time, they survived.
Chester said: “I am really confident the way we’ve played recently. We’ve played Wigan and Warrington, two of the top three, and more than matched them.
“If we put that kind of effort in again we are good enough to beat a spirited London.”