Survival Specialists. Wakefield Trinity RLFC 2019 Season Review

They have been dark horses for a couple of seasons but a tough 2019 campaign for Wakefield was rather one to forget.

After starting well, they then picked up a couple of injuries and from then life went from bad to far worse in a terrible period for the club.

Of course every teams sustains injuries but it did get so bad for them that their season became completely derailed as a result.

They were threatened by relegation, with a last day win over London clinching survival but that is their specialty considering their close calls in 2006, 2011 and 2015.

Maybe more luck in the near future as we look back at a season of what could have been for Wakefield.

Best Result: Hull FC 12-32 Wakefield Trinity RLFC

They recorded some impressive wins but their best result of the season is their emphatic away win against Hull FC in March.

Their opposition entered the fixture on the back of three straight wins, whereas Wakefield sustained a narrow yet controversial home defeat to Hull Kingston Rovers, thereby giving them the necessity to step things up after such frustration.

And they did just that as they led 14-0 with tries through Ryan Hampshire and Bill Tupou, with Hull then responding with efforts from Danny Houghton and Bureta Faraimo just before half-time.

The match was nip/tuck before Trinity then let loose as Tupou added a second try before Pauli Pauli and Reece Lyne added scores late on to seal an impressive win.

With Tupou and Tom Johnstone both forced off the field during the game due to bad injuries during the game, Wakefield had to cope with fewer numbers so to win in such a fashion was superb.

Head Coach Chris Chester even commented that it was “the best win since I have been in charge here” and it is difficult to disagree as they demonstrated why they have been play-off contenders in recent seasons.

 

Worst Result: London Broncos 42-24 Wakefield Trinity RLFC

Back to the very start of the season was maybe their lowest point in their 42-24 away drubbing against London Broncos.

Wakefield entered the match as red hot favourites and led 18-6 early on thanks to tries from Craig Kopczak, Hampshire and Jacob Miller in response to Matty Fleming’s score for London in between.

But then all of a sudden, the Broncos rallied with a further four first half tries to take the lead.

Rhys Williams, Kieran Dixon, Eddie Battye and Matty Fozard all touched down, with three goals between Jordan Abdull and Dixon producing a 26-18 half time score.

Wakefield replied through Kyle Wood but Williams and Battye both added a second before Elliot Kear’s late score sealed a famous win for the hosts.

Infamous for Trinity though to lose by such a margin, with Danny Brough’s sin-bin not helping matters as valuable lessons were learnt for all as things would eventually improve.

 

Main Man: Jacob Miller

A very difficult choice but arguably their stand out in such a tough season was exciting half-back Jacob Miller.

The 27-year-old stuck to his guns and kept Wakefield competitive for much of their fixtures, despite a few heavy scores along the way.

Personally, he bagged ten tries, provided 15 try assists, completed 369 tackles and managed 64 tackle busts and 1354 metres with ball in hand.

He has always been a grafter and such statistics demonstrate his dedication towards Trinity’s cause, with plenty more to follow in 2020 onwards.

 

Predicted 5th – Finished 9th

They defied expectation, only not in the manner they desired as they endured a relegation struggle rather than a play-off push as most tipped them to go for.

Ravaged by injuries maybe but also their lack of squad depth were issues too.

The ones who came in from the reserves, such as Lee Kershaw performed exceptionally, even former players returning in Mason Caton-Brown also had a good go.

Regardless of their struggles, they did produce some strong results, even in defeat, and had they had more luck with injuries, maybe it could have been a completely different story.

Alas, it was not to be but Wakefield should not despair as they will surely return as play-off contenders once again, right?!

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