Stats Pack: Wakefield Trinity
LEEDS RHINOS. Rd1.Rhinos v Trinity. Sat27thMar21 PHOTO BY MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY
Leeds Rhinos take on Wakefield Trinity tonight 14th May at Emerald Headingley, kick off 7:45pm. You can watch the game live and on Sky Sports Arena and free on the YouTube channel.
Before the teams run out, here are some of the key stats, figures and facts about both Richard Agar and Chris Chester’s sides.
Team Head to Head
This season, statistically, Leeds and Wakefield are very close with the numbers they have been posting in 2021 following their clash in round one.
Leeds come into the match looking to bounce back from their one point loss to Huddersfield in Super League last time out. The return of Luke Gale could be pivotal for the home side as they currently sit in 11th place in the competition for tries scored this season (Wakefield being the 12th club). Leeds also sit above Trinity in carries (9th overall) and have made the seventh most metres in the competition, just 216 behind the Champions St Helens in sixth. Where Leeds have excelled is in the dummy half runs, thanks to the work of Brad Dwyer and Kruise Leeming. With the exception of Hull KR, who are the League’s best, the Rhinos have made 96 runs from dummy half (Brad Dwyer: 28, Kruise Leeming: 15)
With five losses from five matches, Wakefield will be eager to get their first points of the campaign tonight. Last time out against Catalans, Trinity were dominated on home soil; Tom Davies scoring a hat trick. It was a tough blow to take for Chris Chester’s side after they had put together some performances against Hull FC and Wigan. On-loan full back Olly Ashall-Bott will be looking for another chance to impress having scored a try against the Dragons, and Josh Eaves could also get a chance in the side after the St Helens youngster appeared off the bench two weeks ago.
Key Head to Head
One matchup to watch out for when Leeds and Wakefield take to the field on Friday night will be between Matt Prior and Joe Westerman; two props hitting some of their biggest numbers in 2021.
Last week Matt Prior led from the front, with some of his best numbers this season. The prop ran for 96 metres throughout the game (his most in 2021) while he also matched his efforts in defence, making his joint-most amount of tackles (42). This season, Prior has been one of Leeds’ hardest working defenders, making 181 tackles, which is the 13th most in the League.
Former Castleford, Hull FC, Warrington and Toronto player Westerman will go up against Prior as one of Trinity’s in form forwards in 2021. The loose forward joined Wakefield in 2020 and is having his most productive season under Chester, making 440 metres from 65 carries, 11 tackle busts and he currently sits 9th in Super League for offloads (9). He can also surpass 100 career tries if he scores twice against Leeds.
One to Watch: Leeds Rhinos
Against the Giants, Liam Sutcliffe was one of Leeds’ stand out performers. He made the break that saw Ash Handley score his first try of the season and was the Rhinos’ go to for providing attacking kicks, in the absence of Luke Gale. He had an average gain of 15 metres (his best for the season) and made a total of 132 metres in the game (also his best this season). Against Trinity, he could partner with Luke Gale for the first time since round two against Castleford, a game in which he made the most carries (10) and tackles (26).
One to Watch: Wakefield Trinity
Since his arrival at Wakefield, prop David Fifita has always been one of Trinity’s weapons in attack. Having played in all five games this season, Fifita has set the bar for his fellow forwards, making 18 tackle busts (13th in the League) and 10 offloads (6th in the League). Against Hull FC, a game in which Trinity had their opportunity for their first points of the season taken away in the final minutes, the prop put up some his best numbers, making 125 metres from 15 carries, while against Wigan in round two, he made four offloads and scored his sole try of the campaign.
Mikolaj Oledzki has been a shining light for Leeds so far in 2021 and the prop will hit 100 career appearances against Trinity tonight. Oledzki has made most of his appearances for the Rhinos, playing 72 times, but also played five games for Featherstone Rovers (dual-reg), 20 games at Bradford (loan) and twice for England Knights.
Former Rhino Jay Pitts can hit 150 Super League appearances following spells at Hull FC, Bradford, London Broncos, Leeds and Wakefield (twice)
Second rower Alex Mellor will play his 150th career games tonight, having played 51 times for Bradford Bulls, 79 times for Huddersfield Giants and 19 times for Leeds.