WAKEFIELD TRINITY fans were not exactly treated to a good spectacle this afternoon against a rampant Hull FC.
The Black and Whites registered ten tries to Trinity’s zero, with Wakefield head coach Mark Applegarth naming a youthful side – something which took a number of supporters by surprise.
With the Super League season less than two weeks away, the fixture would have been good preparation to lay down a marker for that Friday night clash against Catalans Dragons.
However, Applegarth has noted the ‘lessons’ that were learned from a 56-0 hammering from Tony Smith’s side.
“We knew were were coming up against it with the team we named against a full strength Hull FC,” Applegarth told League Express.
“I’m glad that the lads that were in our thoughts for round one came through injury free and it was important that we got another half a game under their belts.
“I take full responsibility for the game, I’ll wear that one so there are no dramas there. The main thing is we got through injury free and we can start building towards round one which is where the focus lies.
“As silly as it sounds, although we’ve had 56 points put on us, I’m proud of them against a proven Super League side and we had a glorified reserves team.”
Applegarth hailed the youngsters and revealed just why he chose that team, with Mason Lino, Matty Ashurst, Kelepi Tanginoa, Lewis Murphy and Jay Pitts just some of those absent.
“I’m proud of the young lads. We had four lads who haven’t played under 18s rugby yet and we dropped them straight in out of the scholarship,” Applegarth continued.
“It was a great learning opportunity against a proven Super League opposition. Hull were only missing one or two faces from what is their strongest line up.
“After 25 minutes, we brought Jai Whitbread off following his first stint and he had made seven more tackles than the whole of Hull FC combined so it tells you what sort of momentum they had there.
“We got what we needed out of that Featherstone game. We had over-exposed some of those lads and we didn’t want to risk them injury wise.
“It was a little bit too close to that round one game, so we wanted to give the youth a chance.
“We always said this Hull FC game would be 50/50 – either way we knew we would learn something.
“Either Hull would do the same and make it a competitive game or Hull would go full strength.”
One youngster that did shine after coming off the bench was hooker Harvey Smith, with his sniping runs from dummy-half getting Trinity on the front foot on rare occasions.
“He is a cracker is Harvey,” Applegarth said, whose face lit up when talking about the teenager.
“He’s not even played academy rugby yet, but we’ve got really high hopes for him. He’s a really level headed kid and he comes from a very supportive family.
“I’m really chuffed for him, he showcased what he could do and the main thing is to keep working hard, stay nice and humble and get his education finished whilst he is still bubbling in the background.
“That’s exactly what today was about giving guys like Harvey an opportunity to showcase what they are about against Super League opposition.”