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Mark Applegarth reveals star signing shouldn’t have played against Leeds Rhinos today

Wakefield Trinity included new signings Morgan Smith and forward Renouf Atoni who scored a vital second half try as Trinity battled back from 20-14 down to a 38-20 win at Headingley over Leeds Rhinos.

New coach Mark Applegarth was very impressed with Atoni today but revealed he shouldn’t have played:

“That’s what you want from Renouf Atoni.

“I’m glad for him, I wasn’t going to play him he was only in the country for 10 days but he was desperate to play.

“I wanted to just give him a smile and let him play 10-15 minutes.

“He’s an exciting player and probably one of them that could take a few by surprise this year.”

He went on to explain why he only had short stints in today’s game:

“That was me. He was probably getting a bit twitchy it’s a cold one, he’s come from Sydney where it was 30 degrees. With limited training under his belt, it was more me getting a bit twitchy, we had a lot of middles so I wanted to keep it short and sweet. It’s more important that he’s ready for round one.”

Atoni joins from Sydney Roosters for 2023 having previously played for Canterbury Bulldogs.

He is a good friend of Leeds star Rhyse Martin.

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