Castleford stars back to take on ‘desperate’ Warrington

Zak Hardaker
Zak Hardaker

The return of five first teamers is set to give Castleford Tigers a boost, but they are not taking the points for granted when they take on a Warrington Wolves team desperate for points at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday.

Skipper Michael Shenton, Luke Gale, Grant Millington and Zak Hardaker will all come back in after being rested for last Sunday’s game against St Helens while Adam Milner is expected to return from injury.

Powerful forwards Junior Moors and Jesse Sene-Lefao will have to pass head tests before their place in the team can be confirmed, but the Tigers side will have a more familiar look about it.

However, head coach Daryl Powell has warned that just because it will be a stronger line-up than last week it will not automatically be easy pickings against a visiting team in danger of dropping into the middle eights despite their star studded team.

He told the Express: “Obviously to get a win in the circumstances we did last week was outstanding and we’ve got five of our outstanding players coming back into the team.

“I gave them a bit of a breather for a reason, they are all outstanding players and the onus is on those guys to drive the standards of the team this week.

“But it’s important that you can’t just think that those guys coming back in is going to get the job done.

“Everybody’s got to do their jobs and keep working hard. You don’t want to sit on a four-point lead in the competition at the moment and think the job’s done. We’ve still got a lot of hard work in front of us.”

Powell continued: “Warrington are going to be desperate. They’ve lost their last four and they will be wanting to win.

“It’s starting to get really tight now round eighth, ninth and tenth and it creates a little bit of desperation and we’ve got to make sure we’re on top of our game to deal with this.

“The last time we played a desperate team was Widnes at home and they made life really difficult for us so we’ve got the experience behind us of what they are going to be coming at us with. We need to deal with it accordingly.

“This is the first of a few big games we’ve got at home and it’s a good opportunity for us.”

Powell is surprised to see many people’s tips for the title Warrington struggling in the bottom four with only six games to go to the season split, but can see similarities between their plight and that of Leeds Rhinos last year.

He said: “If you don’t get a good start then confidence can suffer. It happened to Leeds last year.

“Warrington were brilliant early on against Brisbane, but then they found life difficult against us when we were outstanding and fell into a bit of a dip. If you can’t get out of it confidence goes and confidence is such a crucial part of team sport, getting it and keeping it is a really important part.

“At the moment Warrington haven’t got it, but it can soon flip, it can flip in the course of one game so I’ll make sure we’re aware of that.

“You don’t take anything for granted in this sport and I’ve been around long enough to know that that’s absolutely crucial. We can’t go into the game thinking it will be easy just because they’ve had a few poor results recently.”