Rugby League

Coach Chris Chester is 80 minutes away from a second consecutive Challenge Cup final.

Chris Chester heaps praise on Wakefield after Challenge Cup win

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Wakefield coach Chris Chester hailed one of his team's best performances of the year after they became the first club through to the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with a 28-16 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium.

Chester guided unfancied Hull KR all the way to Wembley in 2015 and is now just 80 minutes away from repeating the feat with his new club, although he insists they still have unfinished work in Super League.

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"It's a great feeling to be in the next round of the Challenge Cup," he said.

"It's a long time since this club have been involved in semi-finals and finals and it would be great to create our own bit of history.

"But we're not getting ahead of ourselves. We've got a Super League campaign to worry about for the next four or five weeks and we want to have a good go at the top eight. We still need another win to guarantee us a place."

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Wakefield never looked back after new signing David Fifita barged over for the first of his two tries after only three minutes and were 14-0 up before the Giants arose from their slumbers.

Wingers Ben Jones-Bishop and Tom Johnstone also scored tries and Fifita clinched the victory with his second on 56 minutes, while Liam Finn's six goals from seven attempts proved crucial.

"I thought we really set the tone in the first 10 or 15 minutes," Chester said. "We were very dominant and strangled them with field position.

"Defensively we were very good and I've just said to them 'why can't you do that every week?' The challenge for us now is to find some consistency.

"It was a magnificent team performance from one to 17, the best I've seen our guys play in a long time."

Fifita, who was sin-binned on his Super League debut in last week's home defeat by Leeds, caught the eye, not only with his two tries, but with his devastating running on his first full appearance for the club.

"Dave was outstanding," Chester said. "He copped a fair bit of criticism for his performance last week but he showed tonight what a handful he's going to be, certainly in dry conditions."

Huddersfield had former captain Danny Brough sin-binned early on for a high tackle that rendered centre Reece Lyne unconscious and, although winger Jermaine McGillvary's two late tries enabled them to match their opponents' try count, caretaker coach Andy Kelly had no complaints over the result.

"It was a really poor start to the game," he said. "We accumulated a 14-point deficit and that was always going to be tough against a side like Wakefield, who once they get tails up are hard to suppress.

" Wakefield played well, they were very clinical at times."

Kelly, who has stepped into the breach following the sacking of Paul Anderson, is not in the running for the job in the long term and, although he expects to be in charge for next Thursday's visit of league leaders Hull, he is due to take the England academy team on their tour to Australia a week later.

"I know they've had plenty of applicants," Kelly said. "I'll continue to do the job while ever I'm asked to do it. I doubt there will be an appointment before next Thursday."

The Giants' battle to avoid relegation may be exacerbated by injuries to centre Joe Wardle, full-back Scott Grix and prop forward Sam Rapira, whose ever-present record in his first season with the club is threatened by a shoulder problem.

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