DISAPPOINTED COACH Chris Chester accepted his share of the blame following Wakefield Trinity’s “embarrassing” 35-18 home loss to Catalans Dragons.
Trinity started well and staged a brief revival from 22-6 down, sparked by a remarkable Tom Johnstone try, but were second-best to an impressive Catalans side who are beginning to find their feet under former Bradford Bulls and England coach Steve McNamara.
Chester pulled no punches in his post-match assessment and admitted: “I’ve done a few things wrong during the week in terms of selection.
“I don’t know what was worse, the attack or the defence – I thought we were terrible in both.”
A win would have virtually secured Wakefield’s place in the Super-8s, but they are now facing a tense final three weeks of the regular season.
“We need to individually and collectively put things right,” Chester added. “We got off to a good start, but we couldn’t contain their big lads.
“I am frustrated and disappointed and we are a bit embarrassed as well. That performance shouldn’t have happened.”
Justin Horo, playing against his former side, was one of the few Trinity players to enhance his reputation, bagging a try in each half. He opened the scoring, Liam Finn adding the first of his three conversions, after just five minutes, but Catalans replied with tries by Greg Bird, Benjamin Jullien, David Mead and Brayden Wiliame.
After the half-time hooter, Josh Drinkwater’s penalty attempt dropped short, Finn picked up and kicked and Johnstone gathered inside his own half to race clear. Horo went over after Lewis Tierney had been sin-binned on 54 minutes, but Drinkwater booted a penalty, to go with his four conversions, Tony Gigot landed a drop goal and tries by Wiliame and Fouad Yaha completed the scoring.
Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire, Johnstone, Lyne, Tupou, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Finn, Fifita, Randell, England, Ashurst, Horo, Annakin. Subs Wood, Pauli, Arona, Hirst.
Catalans Dragons: Gigot, Tierney, Mead, Wiliame, Yaha, Langi, Drinkwater, Simon, McIlorum, Casty, Jullien, Garcia, Bird. Subs Bousquet, Moa, Edwards, Baitieri.
Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield).