Ian Watson backs Willie Poching for permanent Wakefield job

Trinity continued their late-season revival under their caretaker coach with a 32-18 victory over Watson’s men on the second day of the Magic Weekend at St James’ Park.

Wakefield recovered from the shock of conceding a third-minute try to teenage stand-off Will Pryce to dominate the game and leapfrog their West Yorkshire neighbours in the Super League ladder.

“Willie has done a great job and he deserves a shot at doing it,” said Watson. “He’s got them playing a lot more direct than they were doing before.”

REPORT: Huddersfield 18-32 Wakefield: Trinity win again under Willie Poching

Huddersfield went into the game with the best Magic Weekend record, having won nine and drawn one of their previous 13 fixtures, but they were outplayed in all departments by Poching’s rejuvenated Trinity.

Poching has made no secret of his desire to become a head coach but was more interested in talking up his players.

“I’ll see how things go,” he said. “At the moment I’m proud and happy with the way the boys have turned things around.

“Huddersfield got off to a flying start and the early try was a bit of a wake-up call for us.

“I’m really proud of how they were able to stick in and come out the other end of a grind.

“As the game got into the fourth quarter you could see both teams’ energy start to wane. The load the players have been through has taken a toll on them today.

“We weren’t able to play how I would like but I’m proud that the guys made the adjustments on the run.

“They adapted to the way the game was going and I’ve got to give credit to Mason Lino and Jacob Miller for that.”

Poching was also indebted to a big performance from returning loose forward Joe Westerman on his 300th Super League appearance and admits he will be a big loss when he returns to Castleford at the end of the season.

“It’s hard to replace that sort of experience,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of people within the group, such as Jordy Crowther, that need to grow and need to be given the time to see if they can develop.

“They won’t be an overnight replacement, so we’ve got to be patient.”

Wakefield suffered a blow when winger Tom Johnstone, who scored their opening try, was forced off with the latest of a series of head knocks and Poching says he will treat the player’s recovery with caution.

“He seemed okay when I spoke to him after the game but, such is Tom’s history with these things, we’ve got to be careful,” he said.

“We have to take his health into consideration for what we do next and I’ll take my guidance from the medical team. We’ll do the right thing by Tom.”

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