WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats head coach Chris Chester has urged his side to prove that they are worthy of being in the Super 8s and not by default.
They host Warrington Wolves tomorrow in their second game of the competition, another tough assignment having already lost 60-12 at Wigan.
Given Trinity’s principal aim was to avoid the Qualifiers and threat of relegation, they have, to a degree, succeeded.
But Chester does not want them to now be shown as out of their depth – especially as, technically, they only secured eighth spot due to Salford Red Devils’ suffering a six-point penalty deduction.
If Salford had not been found guilty of salary cap breaches, their superior points difference would have nudged Wakefield into ninth.
It would be easy for Trinity to taper down now with, realistically, no chance of reaching the top-four and their 2017 Super League place already confirmed.
However, Chester said: “Some players here are still playing for contacts and some have got a top-six bonus in their contract so they’ll be trying very hard.
“But I don’t want to be remembered as a side that just scraped through as Salford had points deducted; we’re there on our own merits and I don’t want this season to slip through us.
“We’ve got players missing again but we can’t use injuries as an excuse and I want us to finish this year on a high.”
That task is difficult given tomorrow’s opponents vanquished them in the Challenge Cup semi-final 56-12 just a fortnight ago.
Chester said: “There’ll be no revenge aspect after that; this is a different day altogether.
“We’ve a few additions to the team that will make a little bit of a difference.
“We know Warrington, that they want to finish top and that they’re hard to beat. They schooled us a couple of weeks ago. But we beat them down here the last time we played so who knows what can happen.
“We’ll have belief and we’ll throw the ball around.”
Chester has Ben Jones-Bishop and Jon Molloy returning to his 19-man squad along with James Batchelor, the teenage winger who has just returned from England Academy’s tour of Australia and will now get a chance to show what he has learned. Anthony Tupou is injured – namesake Bill faces a fitness test today – while youngsters Bradley Moules and Liam Senior drop out.
Warrington prop Ben Evans could make his first appearance of the season.