A TOP-SIX place is within their grasp, but coach Chris Chester insists Wakefield Trinity are not yet at their peak.
Trinity opened the Magic Weekend with a 34-12 defeat of Widnes Vikings which took their tally of points to 16 from 14 games.
Two more wins should be enough to secure qualification for the Super-8s and they are well in the hunt for the top-four and a place in the semi-finals.
Bottom of Super League when he took over at Easter last year, Wakefield have made rapid strides under Chester.
The win over bottom club Widnes was achieved without some star names including winger Tom Johnstone – now recovering from a season-ending knee reconstruction – and half-back Sam Williams, who was left out.
But Chester insisted the best is yet to come from Wakefield, who have a three-point gap over seventh-placed St Helens.
Describing himself as “delighted” with the Magic Weekend victory, Chester said: “I thought we were pretty ruthless in the first half and we defended really tough. It was a great effort, but I don’t think we’ve quite hit our straps yet.
“I still think there’s a lot more in us. The guys are believing in themselves and in what we’re doing and we’ve put ourselves in a really good position to finish in the top-six.
“That’s what the goal was at the start of the season. We’ve consolidated our position in the six and we want to push higher now.”
Trinity were 16-0 ahead at half-time through a brace of tries by impressive full-back Scott Grix either side of Reece Lyne’s touchdown.
I still think there’s a lot more in us. The guys are believing in themselves and in what we’re doingWakefield Trinity coach, Chris Chester
Ben Jones-Bishop crossed at the start of the second half and though Widnes responded with a try by Ryan Ince, a penalty from Liam Finn – who also kicked four conversions – kept Wakefield comfortably in command over their rivals.
They finished strongly with a second try by Jones-Bishop and a well deserved score for Matty Ashurst off a mistake by ex-Castleford Tigers stand-off Rangi Chase, who was making his Widnes debut.
Widnes completed the scoring with a try by Hep Cahill and Ed Chamberlain’s second conversion and Chester said: “Widnes came back at us in the second half, but I thought we did enough in the first. We strangled them with field position, kicked the ball well and that told towards the back end of the second half.
“In defence we were pretty ruthless and resilient. They had plenty of opportunities, but we scrambled really well and the guys just kept turning up for each other.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Caton-Brown, Miller, Finn, England, Wood, Fifita, Ashurst, Kirmond, Arona. Substitutes: Tupou, Batchelor, Huby Hirst.
Widnes Vikings: Hanbury, Ince, Chamberlain, Runciman, Johnson, Johnstone, Chase, Buchanan, Heremaia, Dudson, Houston, Wilde, Cahill. Substitutes: Manuokafoa, O’Carroll, Gerrard, White.
Referee: C Kendall (Huddersfield).