It is a crucial game for both sides on Friday evening, as Trinity travel over the Pennines to face Wembley winners Warrington Wolves in the penultimate round of the Betfred Super League.
Trinity will be hoping to confirm Super League for 2020 with a victory over the Wolves, whereas Warrington will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to Salford last Thursday, and reinstate second spot.
With all to play for and everything still at stake, fans can expect a thrilling, competitive encounter.
It is a short turnaround, but Trinity are aware of the magnitude of Friday’s game, and will be determined to give their fans a great performance, and ensure Super League survival.
Three injuries were unfortunately picked up during the Wigan game on Sunday – those of Chris Annakin, Bill Tupou and James Batchelor.
This means that George King, Jordan Crowther, Titus Gwaze and Lee Kershaw are all back in contention and named in the 19-man squad for Friday. They will all be hoping for selection into Chester’s matchday 17.
Looking ahead to Warrington, the head coach’s thoughts were: “Warrington are a fantastic team and very hard to beat at home. It’s a massive game for the club and for the players. I’m fairly confident we can get the result tomorrow.”
“I’m looking forward to it Friday. I think all the pressure’s on Warrington; they need that win to get back into the top two, and we go there with a fighting chance.”
“We’ve taken a lot of positives from the last couple of weeks and the things we’ve been doing really well, and we’ve worked hard on the things we’ve not been doing particularly well. We look forward to the game tomorrow night and I think it’s two evenly matched teams that have everything to play for.”
“My main focus is making sure we get the job done on Friday night, and we’ve got to make sure we put in a good performance.”
Warrington occupy third place in the Betfred Super League table and are the Challenge Cup winners of 2019, after beating favourites St Helens, 18-4, at Wembley.
They have slipped to six consecutive defeats in the league however, so Trinity should expect a raring and tough opposition, who will be aiming to get back on track in time for the play-offs.
Steve Price has named a strong Warrington side for Friday night’s clash, which is also boosted by the return of Blake Austin from injury. Mike Cooper, Chris Hill, Toby King and Declan Patton also come into the team after missing out last week.
The ones to watch for the Warrington side include the prolific NRL star and danger man Blake Austin, who has accumulated 18 tries this season. Hooker Daryl Clark is another one to watch, as well as winger Josh Charnley, who has racked up a total of 2814 metres this season so far.
Warrington veteran Chris Hill and power man Ben Murdoch-Masila are two others Trinity will be looking out for. Stefan Ratchford is also another creative threat for the Wolves.
Trinity and the Wolves last met in June at the Halliwell Jones stadium, where Trinity lost out 30-6. They also came face to face in March at the Mobile Rocket Stadium, where an incredible second half comeback was not enough to overcome the Warrington side, as Trinity fell agonisingly short 32-34. This time round, Trinity will be determined to prevent Warrington from achieving a league treble over them in 2019.
Trinity’s last win against the Wolves was July 2017, with a 26-12 score-line on home turf. They also overturned Warrington on home soil in May 2016, 36-28.
Trinity came agonisingly close in 2018 on three occasions, including a 30-32 home loss, but great efforts were not enough to beat their opponents. Most Trinity fans will also remember 2017’s heart-breaking away loss at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. A Tom Lineham try was scored in the dying minutes of the match for the Wolves to clinch the win, so Trinity will be vigilant this time round to ensure that history does not repeat itself.
Trinity (19-man squad) – Arundel, Brough, Crowther, England, Escare, Green, Gwaze, Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Kershaw, King, Kirmond, Kopczak, Lyne, Miller, Randell, Tangata, Tanginoa, Wood.
Warrington Wolves (19-man squad) – Akauola, Austin, Charnley, D. Clark, J. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Goodwin, Hill, King, Lineham, Livett, Mamo, Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, Ratchford, Smith, Tasi.
Match Preview by Emma Holley