As we enter the crucial months of the season, there is still plenty to be excited about in the Betfred Super League.
Whether it be Castleford, Warrington and Wigan fighting for a spot in the end-of-season play-offs or Leeds, Hull KR Salford and Widnes fighting tough Championship competition to preserve their top flight status, so much is still undecided.
Over the next few days, we will be examining the season so far for all 12 Super League clubs, as they head into the ‘Super 8s split’. Next up is Wakefield Trinity.
Position after 23 rounds: 7th
Record this year: W10 D1 L12 Pts21
Points: F581 A 506 PD75
Season in Summary
Wakefield’s season started with a bang, as four straight wins raised the prospect of Trinity upsetting the top four this season.
Reality soon set in though, with just one victory in eight matches after that making the bottom four a much more likely destination as fans began to worry.
Eventually Chris Chester’s men settled in mid-table, as a steady run towards the end of the regular campaign saw them secure Super League safety and a place in the Super 8s.
Best Result – Hull FC (H)
The shock 24-20 win over St Helens in April looked likely to be the highlight of the year for Trin, until this result came out of absolutely nowhere.
Wakefield had just one point from the last three matches, with the possibly of slipping into the bottom four very real if they didn’t win. Hull FC were struggling for form but had big players returning.
80 minutes later: 72-10. They ran in thirteen tries in total; their visitors were very poor but Wakefield were undoubtedly exceptional. It was a glimpse of the damage that their talented backline can do on their day, but sadly it was also a reminder of what could have been if that sort of performance had been delivered more often.
Jacob Miller has been at the heart of the side for a while now but with partner Liam Finn in decline, he has had to take a lot more responsibility this season. He has been ever-present, contributing 20 try assists and continuing to grow into his increased role, with his talents demonstrated no better than in that game against Hull FC when he was phenomenal.
Of course you need someone to finish off those chances as well, and Wakefield have two fantastic wingers. Ben Jones-Bishop has notched 16 tries this season, while Tom Johnstone betters that with 17 after returning from his injury nightmare.
As for the hard stuff, no player in Super League has carried more metres this year than the massive Bill Tupou, who has gained his side 3126m. Plenty of praise should go to Danny Kirmond as well, with only Daryl Clark and Paul McShane making more tackles in this campaign.
Things to work on
There are no problems with their attack, with only St Helens scoring more tries over the 23 matches, but their defence hasn’t always been as effective and that has cost them in tight games.
Their biggest issue of all though is consistency. It’s easier said than done of course, but since that run at the start of the year they have only picked up back-to-back wins once, and away form needs to improve drastically having only won once, at Widnes, on their travels since February.
What to expect going into the 8s
Without any kind of consistency Wakefield certainly don’t look like the side likely to give the top four any sleepless nights. A second successive fifth place finish would be a decent achievement, but with four away fixtures and some tricky home ones that will be no easy task.