Opposition Profile: Wakefield Trinity

Picture by Chris Mangnall/SWpix.com - 16/02/2020 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - Wakefield Trinity v Warrington Wolves - The Mobile Rocket Stadium, Wakefield, England - Wakefield's Try scorer Tom Johnstone (L) congratulated by team mates

As the Super League Play Offs draw closer, Leeds Rhinos will be looking to recover from Thursday night’s defeat to Wakefield when Richard Agar’s side travel to the Mobile Rocket Stadium this Sunday afternoon live on OurLeague, kick off 2:00pm.

Lets take a look at the Wakefield side:


Overview

Wakefield continued their winning streak in Super League by defeating the Rhinos 30-6 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Thursday night. The Yorkshire rivals clash once again on Sunday afternoon after this fixture was postponed back in September due to two Wakefield players testing positive for Coronavirus.

Positive tests in the Wakefield camp was one of the problems for Chris Chester’s side when the season restarted in August. Having won two matches – against Warrington and Salford – before the season was locked down, Trinity lost nine matches in all competitions on their return to action. A number of players were also stepped down at the start of September due to positive COVID tests and the track and trace protocols, leaving Chester without key players for matches, including a close 26-23 defeat to Hull FC.

Should Reece Lyne feature against the Rhinos on Sunday, the centre will be two appearances away from making 200 career appearances.

Last week saw a turn in fortune for Wakefield with Chester’s team; a 18-14 win over Huddersfield gave Trinity their first win since the restart and a week ago and they then blew Hull KR away to come off the bottom of the table.


Last Time Out

Wakefield Trinity continued their winning run in Super League by defeating Leeds 30-6 at the Totally Wicked Stadium. A 20 point lead by half time ended the game prematurely for Trinity, thanks to a first senior career hat trick from Max Jowitt before two tries from Innes Senior in the second half and one from David Fifita. Ash Handley scored the only try for the Rhinos


Key Players

KYLE WOOD

Position: Hooker

SL Tries: 30

Kyle made his 200th Super League appearance against Leeds on Thursday night.

Last year he was crowned Wakefield’s Top Tackler and Players’ Player of the Year in 2019.

Bio: Quick from dummy half and intelligent from the ruck, Kyle Wood is one the players that has made Wakefield competitive under Chester. Brought back for a second stint in blue, red and white in 2017, he reached 200 Super League appearances on Thursday night and is proving to be a clinical weapon in Trinity’s attacking spine.

JOE WESTERMAN

Position: Loose Forward/Prop

Signed for Wakefield in 2019 from Hull FC on a two year deal

SL Career Apps: 275

Joe previously played for Castleford Tigers, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC and Toronto Wolfpack

Bio: One of Wakefield’s most experienced players, both at domestic and international level, Westerman was a welcomed return to Chester’s side against the Rhinos on Thursday. His statistics show the loose forward’s efforts in defence and attack as he currently leads Trinity in tackles made (444 ranking him at 14th in the League) and also ranks 7th overall for his offloads (26).


Previous Meetings

During the Super League era, there have been some memorable clashes between the Rhinos and Trinity at the Mobile Rocket Stadium, with the Rhinos coming out with the win on 20 out of 25 occasions.

Ali Lauitiiti’s five tries in 2005 helped the then Super League and World Club Champions to their biggest ever win against Wakefield at Belle Vue; the kiwi international helped Leeds to a 70-6 result, with further tries from Richie Mathers, Marcus Bai, Keith Senior, Willie Poching, Rob Burrow, Barrie McDermott and Gareth Ellis, who had signed for Leeds from Wakefield at the end of 2004.

In 2009, when the Rhinos won their second League Leaders’ Shield, Brian McClennan’s side kept a five match winning streak alive with a 32-30 result. Wakefield, who had not won at home against the Rhinos since 1992, ran out to a 30-16 lead; Danny Brough kicking seven goals. But Leeds wouldn’t lie down and Scott Donald’s last minute try helped the men in blue and amber steal the two league points.

One of the most memorable matches between Leeds and Wakefield at the Mobile Rocket Stadium came in 2014, when Richard Owen scored the winning try with a minute remaining

Wakefield have has more success against the Rhinos in the last decade, winning seven games. In 2014, a late Richard Owen try inched Trinity to a 16-14 result and then two years later, an 80th minute winning try from Craig Hall gave Chris Chester’s side the victory. Last season, Wakefield took a major scalp from Leeds, winning both home and away matches against the Rhinos for the first time in Super League history (35-18 at Emerald Headingley and 26-24 at the Mobile Rocket Stadium).

Last Ten Meetings at the Mobile Rocket Stadium

Wakefield Trinity 0 Leeds Rhinos 10 (SLR17, 07/6/19)

Wakefield Trinity 26 Leeds Rhinos 24 (SLR12, 22/4/19)

Wakefield Trinity 26 Leeds Rhinos 28 (SLR10, 8/4/18)

Wakefield Trinity 38 Leeds Rhinos 6 (SLS8-R2, 10/8/17)

Wakefield Trinity 16 Leeds Rhinos 18 (SLR18, 10/6/17)

Wakefield Trinity 6 Leeds Rhinos 32 (SLR19, 17/6/16)

Wakefield Trinity 26 Leeds Rhinos 58 (SLR17, 07/06/15)

Wakefield Trinity 16 Leeds Rhinos 14 (SLR19, 04/07/14)

Wakefield Trinity 6 Leeds Rhinos 60 (CCR4, 06/04/14)

Wakefield Trinity 24 Leeds Rhinos 31 (SLR8, 26/07/13)


Record against Leeds

Prior to today’s game, Leeds and Wakefield have played each other 231 times in history. Leeds have won 135 of them; 40 of which have come in the Super League era. Notably between June 2000 and August 2004, the Rhinos took the two league points away from Wakefield 11 times consecutively, including a 52-22 win in 2002 when Chev Walker registered his first hat trick of the season.

Ali Lauitiiti scored five tries in Leeds’ biggest away win over Trinity in 2005

Wakefield have beaten Leeds in Super League 11 times, five of which have come at the Mobile Rocket Stadium. Their first win came at the home of the Rhinos at the start of the 2000 season; Steve McNamara registering ten points (one try and three conversions) in a 22-18 win and their most recent win came in 2019, when they edged Dave Furner’s Leeds side 26-24, thanks to tries from Ben Jones-Bishop, Reece Lyne, Max Jowitt and a length of the field effort from Lee Kershaw.


Head to Head


Team News


Last Game Against the Rhinos

When Leeds last met Wakefield at the Mobile Rocket Stadium, the Rhinos were looking for back to back league wins, having beat London Broncos at the Dacia Magic Weekend the week before. In wet and windy conditions, Liam Sutcliffe’s two penalties settled the Rhinos early on before Tui Lolohea intercepted a pass from Kelepi Tanginoa in the second half to run 80 metres and touch down for the only try of the game, giving Leeds a 10-0 win.