Match preview by Emma Holley
Trinity will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of wins in just seven days, as they take on Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos, for what is the first time this season.
Both sides are set to face each other successively, due to fixture rearrangements.
Tonight’s fixture will be played at the Totally Wicked Stadium, whereas Sunday’s game will see Trinity return to the Mobile Rocket Stadium for a home tie.
After an incredible 48-18 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers, Trinity will be looking to bring their confidence and momentum into Thursday’s derby match.
Trinity have faced adversity over the past few months, but are looking to finish their season strong, with the four fixtures left to play.
On Wednesday, Chris Chester had even more pleasing news, as he revealed that his side have all received negative tests ahead of tonight’s game, and that things are going well for the club, as this challenging season heads towards the end.
Joe Westerman and Jack Croft return to the 21-man squad this time round, as well as Connor Bailey, who is also named in the mix.
Skipper Jacob Miller is also in contention for Thursday, after an injury kept him from featuring in the Rovers match.
The opponents – Rhinos:
Richard Agar’s men triumphed against Castleford Tigers on Monday with a 28-24 victory, as they prevented the Tigers from making a late comeback.
Monday’s game came at a cost however, as the 2020 Challenge Cup winners have been forced to stand down four of their players for tonight’s clash, as twelve Castleford players have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Rhinos currently sit in fifth place of the Betfred Super League table, having won nine games since the restart, and will be looking to climb the ladder and cement a play-off place, as the remaining fixtures close in.
With the Leeds team littered with stars who showcase quality and experience, they’ll be many ones to watch out for, including the dynamic half-back pairing of Rob Lui and Luke Gale.
Gale is no stranger to the Trinity side, after featuring in many of Trinity’s derby losses to the Tigers; unforgettably when he kicked a heartbreaking drop-goal to snatch a 24-25 win back in 2017.
Now in Leeds colours, he poses a dangerous threat with his kicking game, and even more so with Lui there to support him.
Another to look out for is winger Ash Handley, a youngster who has secured a first team spot over recent seasons with his performances, and is one of Super League’s top try-scorers and metre-makers this year.
Tongan international Konrad Hurrell is another danger on the edge with his strength and power, whilst former NRL star Rhyse Martin will be out to cause problems for Trinity.
Trinity achieved a league double over Leeds last year, firstly an 18-35 victory at Headingley, before a close encounter on Easter Monday, where Trinity clinched a 26-24 win.
Trinity also managed to brag a draw against the Rhinos in 2018, before agonisingly losing out 26-28 at home.
Nevertheless, this highlights that Trinity are more than capable of pushing the eight times Super League champions.
Thursday’s match will be available to watch live on Sky Sports Arena, or fans can follow Trinity’s Twitter page for continual updates!
Trinity (21-man squad): Johnstone, Tupou, Lyne, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Fifita, K. Wood, Arona, Westerman, Batchelor, Tangata, Crowther, Jowitt, Croft, B. Walker, Hampshire, Aydin, Bailey, Tanginoa, Senior, Battye.