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Wakefield a “totally different” team to 2020, according to Chris Chester

Tom Johnstone has been hitting all the headlines in recent seasons for his acrobatic finishes, but it was his raw pace that took him over the line twice in Wakefield’s 28-22 loss to Leeds.

The England international ran over 90 metres twice to dot down, but Wakefield boss Chris Chester spoke of how disappointed Johnstone was with an almost try that went begging. The winger’s pass inside to Bill Tupou was dropped by the latter in what would have brought Wakefield back on level terms.

“He’s filthy with the try at the back end after taking the ball down the wing, but he’s carried the ball really strong throughout the game,” Chester stated.

“He didn’t have a run out in the friendly, but he’ll be better for the hit out today and him and Bill were a real handful on that left edge.

“It was certainly there to grab with both hands, but we have to look at that period before half-time when they got two quick tries on us.”

Chester was keen to stress that Johnstone should be in Shaun Wane’s England thinking at the end of the season and that choice could be helped by having England assistant Andy Last in the backroom ranks at Trinity too.

“Just looking at the standards that are set in the England set-up, we’re fortunate to have Andy Last.

“We’ve seen some things in video that Shaun wants Tom to work on, but his work on and off the ball was really good today and he shouldn’t be far away come the end of the year.

“He’s a special talent is Tom and he’ll get better as the weeks go on.”

Wakefield also had new signing Mason Lino out on the field who showed some nice touches and Chester was keen to stress his combination with Jacob Miller is still very much in its infancy.

“I thought Mase was good, that combination will get better, but I spoke to Mase and Milky (Jacob Miller) that i was disappointed with the end of sets.

“Leeds put us under a lot of pressure with their kicks and there was a strong wind today – we struggled to get out of our end.

“There’s a lot of things to fix up with last tackle options.”

Overall though, Chester could not fault his side’s efforts, even if Trinity failed to live up to pre-season standards.

“The guys were really enthusiastic at halftime, but the standards we’ve set in pre-season just weren’t good enough today.

“Standard areas like kick chasers needed to be better, but in terms of effort, we’re a totally different team to last year.”

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