Yates' verdict: Coach's dilemma now is who will make the final 17

Boss Kristian Woolf got his wish ahead of the Betfred Challenge Cup Final against Castleford Tigers - a searching and gruelling test of skill and character at Wakefield Trinity last night (Friday).

Saturday, 10th July 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Saturday, 10th July 2021, 11:14 am
Wakefield's Joe Arundell can't prevent Tommy Makinson from scoring a try. Picture: SWPix
Wakefield's Joe Arundell can't prevent Tommy Makinson from scoring a try. Picture: SWPix

Saints' Aussie head coach had declared on the eve of the trip to Belle Vue that he was keeping his fingers crossed that the West Yorkshire outfit rival would give them a run for their money - and that's what happened during certain stages of the game.

Saints had to pull out all the stops to overcome a resilient and committed Trinity side battling to escape from the lower reaches of the Super League table and possibly more importantly picking up two points and reporting no injury worries, apart from one or two bumps and bruises.

It looks to me as if Woolf's only dilemma is to choose his final 17-man squad which appears to be the strongest available since the start of the season.

Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, skipper James Roby and Morgan Knowles look shoe-in selections but as the coach admitted at last week's press conference one or two places were still up for grabs.

A nice kind of headache but I wouldn't like to be responsible to inform certain players: ''Sorry, you haven't made the final 17.''

Two players who will not be considered for the Wembley showpiece are Dan Norman and Ben Davies who have joined Salford Red Devils on a temporary basis to help[ them overcome a spate of injuries.

* Fans are asked to note that the club superstore and ticket office line will only be open from 11am to 5pm on Monday due to England's involvement in the European Championship Final against Italy at Wembley tomorrow (Sunday). Normal officer hours will apply from Tuesday to Friday.