Wakefield’s opportunity will be test of character – Aiton

WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats hooker Paul Aiton says the squad’s character will be “tested” to the hilt as it looks to emulate last year’s blistering end-of-season form.

Then, they won a club record-equalling seven consecutive games to snatch eighth place and make the play-offs.

Monday’s 24-14 victory over Widnes Vikings was a fourth on the bounce and one which now puts them in control of their own destiny.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The West Yorkshire club are currently ninth but know if they win their last seven fixtures this time around they will reach the end-of-season finale once more.

Of course, that would mean 11 straight victories – an unlikely feat for any side – but in all probability Richard Agar’s side will not need to deliver a 100 per cent record.

They are just a point behind eighth-placed Hull FC with a game in hand and Papua New Guinea international Aiton said: “It will be a test of our character and of our ability as players with what we now do with this chance.

“It is in our hands. For me, personally, I feel we’ve just got to worry week-to-week.

“That’s what I focus on and the rest takes care of itself.

“But it’ll be good to be involved in this run-in.

“Last year I got injured just before we went on that run and missed the end of the season so I’m glad to be playing this time around.

“I’m really enjoying it. The weather is unreal and that just changes the game for me. It’s a lot drier and it feels good out there.”

Wakefield have a free weekend due to the Challenge Cup and Aiton admits it has come at a good time after they prepare for what coach Agar described as a “mini-series” against Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos.

They venture to Headingley on Friday before playing them again a week later in their home fixture which was originally postponed in March due to snow.

“It’s a long season over here so it’ll be good just to rest the legs especially as I’ve had a few problems with mine,” said ex-Cronulla star Aiton.

“We had heaps of players go off injured against Widnes too and heaps of others playing in different positions.

“I played in four eventually – hooker, right back-row, left back-row and lock – but I didn’t mind. It was just good we could do that.

“The game was pretty scrappy if I’m honest even when we had everyone on and fit.

“We just have to tidy things up a bit. It’s good versatility for the boys we can play like but it still didn’t change the fact we dropped so much ball.

“If we want to compete with the big sides in Super League we can’t really do that.”

Aiton, 28, continued: “We’ve won four games on the trot though which is great heading into the business end and especially these two massive games against Leeds.

“Being the local derby as well, I’m looking forward to them.

“They’ll bring a good crowd here and we love these sorts of matches.”