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Doherty reflects on Leigh defeat

16th May 2022

Wakefield Trinity Ladies’ coach, Charlie Doherty, wasn’t disheartened by his side’s overall performance as we fell to an opening day 28-14 defeat to Leigh Miners RL.

Three tries weren’t enough for Trinity as Leonie Lawson, Abby Price and Saskia Lewis crossed the whitewash, with the home side having too much on the day at Twist Lane.

After a tough opening 10 minutes, as both sides found their feet, Leigh struck first. A good set saw the home side camped on the Trinity line as they barged their way through to open the scoring before adding a second just before the half-hour mark.

Looking to avenge the early deficit, Trinity grew into the contest, making big metres up the field through Libby Priestley and Millen Downs as our halves worked their magic.

This pressure finally paid, Price launching a big kick towards the Leigh in-goal, which was knocked on by the home side, offering Trinity a chance on the Miners’ line.

This was made to pay as the ball was pushed out to the short side, where Lawson was camping out to touch down.

Beaming with confidence, Trinity took the game by the scruff of the neck, further adding to their tally moments later. Again, a huge kick caused all sorts of problems for the Leigh defence as Brooke Price picked up on the right edge, her inside pass found Price, as the Wakefield loose-forward pushed her way to the whitewash.

However, with tired bodies on the line after a big attacking effort, it was the home side who struck just before the half-time hooter, with Trinity down by six at the interval.

Looking to claw back the difference, Trinity started the second half bright, though, it was the home side who started to pull away, cementing their lead with a two and a two-point penalty just under the sticks.

Down but by no means out, Wakefield rallied, still causing problems in the Leigh defence as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Spotting the lack of numbers on the left edge, a big effort brought the ball back across the field, where Lewis was able to run over unchallenged.

Despite a much-improved second-half display, unfortunately, it was the hosts who claimed the final points of the game, touching down with just minutes left to wrap the game up.

“There was some really good stuff in there,” Doherty said, speaking to the media following yesterday’s contest.

“We had a few decisions that didn’t go our way, but you must play around that. We got in each other’s way a little bit and there were some plays which just didn’t click.

“However, the times in which we did, the side looked really good.”

That’s 11 tries so far this season now for Wakefield, already beating last season’s tally by some way.

With new attacking players in the squad, it will take time to come up to speed with the Wakefield way of playing, however, Doherty is pleased that his side knows where the whitewash is.

“We are scoring more tries than we ever have.

“I think, compared to last season, we have scored far more points, which is down to the side gelling a bit more.

“Again, we are a very new side, so it is still coming, however, when it does, I am extremely positive.”

A few alterations in midweek saw a shuffle in the pack leading up to yesterday’s season opener, mixing this with a few injuries in the first period, the middles were tasked with big stints, a task they rose to.

“Some people, I really can’t falter,” Doherty followed.

“I thought our edges were really strong, didn’t let anything get past them. There were a few times in the first half where we had to change certain aspects, which led to a lapse in concentration, but then it came back.

“Our middles had to do long stints today because of injuries, which meant we were short on interchanges for the second half, and they worked for each other and made some big tackles.

“There were a few that hadn’t played big minutes like Ellie Brown, and I think she put in a 60-minute display today, constantly tackling and working for each other.”

Wakefield Trinity Ladies are back in action next Sunday as they travel to the Halliwell Jones Stadium to face Warrington in round two of the Women’s Super League.

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