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CHRIS CHESTER celebrated as a fan when Wakefield won their Super League survival battle in 2015 and he is confident of being able to do so as head coach.
Friday the 13th will be unlucky for someone when Wakefield, London Broncos, Hull KR and Huddersfield all fight to avoid relegation on the final day of the regular season.
One of the first acts for Robert Elstone when he took on the role of Super League chief executive was to ditch the Super 8s and the Million Pound Game because it was felt the jeopardy was spread too far.
And in the first year back under the straight promotion and relegation shoot-out, four teams are locked on 20 points going into the last round, all separated only by points difference.
Most eyes will be on Belle Vue, where Trinity host the Broncos in a match that brings back memories of the inaugural Million Pound Game in 2015 when Wakefield gained a dramatic 24-16 win over Bradford, a match Chester watched from the terraces with his mates.
“I stood in the north stand and we celebrated when Scott Moore scored the winning try,” Chester said.
“I had a pint of beer thrown over me. It was a great day and there were a few celebrations afterwards.”
The equation is simple for both Wakefield and London — the winner stays up.
The Broncos will be relegated if they lose but Trinity could still survive on points difference if they lose and both Huddersfield and Hull KR are defeated by Catalans Dragons and Salford respectively but Chester is not counting on any favours.
His side have won just twice in the last four months but Chester was heartened by his team’s battling performance at Warrington last Friday and even more encouraged when he got back home to watch London beat Hull KR.
“It was probably the most positive I’ve been in a long time,” he said. “I’ve seen the effort the guys have been putting in on the training field and out on the pitch.
“And when I got home and saw the game between Hull KR and London, I was even more positive that we’ve got more than enough to get the two points this week.”
Wakefield will be out to avenge two defeats to the Broncos already this year and Chester says they were given extra motivation by London chairman David Hughes’s claim that his team’s match at Hull KR was the tougher of their last two fixtures.
“Our players are aware of that comment and just we’ve got to make sure we try and use that for motivation for getting the result on Friday,” he said.
Tomorrow night’s game has been given an extra twist with Broncos duo Alex Walker and Jay Pitts set to face the club they are due to join in 2020 but that did not prevent Hull KR-bound Jordan Abdull putting in a top performance last Friday and Chester does not believe there will be a conflict of loyalty.
“They’ve got a job to do and you’ve got to pay them credit, they’ve been really professional in the way they’ve gone about their business,” Chester said.
“I expect them all to play as hard as possible. They’re a very good team.”
In tomorrow night’s other last-round fixtures, Jamie Jones-Buchanan lead Leeds on his farewell appearance against Warrington and Australian second-rower Mark Minichiello will bring down the curtain on his career when Hull host St Helens.
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