McGoldrick axed from derby clash

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RYAN McGoldrick’s first team comeback with Castleford Tigers has been put on hold for disciplinary reasons.

Tigers boss Terry Matterson (pictured) revealed that the Australian utility back was in line to return to the team for tonight’s derby with Wakefield Wildcats after recovering from a knee injury that had kept him out of action all season, but will not now feature.

Matterson was angered by an article in a national newspaper that said McGoldrick had built a pole-dance club in his own back garden.

He said: “It’s for the club to decide if there’s disciplinary action and he will go through a process.

“But he was going to play on Friday, he was in the 17, and he won’t play now.”

The Castleford coach was intending to bring McGoldrick back along with several others who have yet to feature this season with three games in eight days over the Easter period set to provide a tough examination of the Tigers’ credentials.

With Cas staging two huge Bank Holiday local derbies with Wakefield Wildcats and Leeds Rhinos, either side of a testing trip to play St Helens on Monday, Matterson wants to keep the team as fresh as possible and intends to use all the fit members of his squad.

Jordan Thompson is in the reckoning after unluckily missing out so far despite impressing at centre in the pre-season warm-ups and young forwards Nathan Massey and John Davies could be recalled from their loan spells at York as Cas aim to cover all their bases for the triple-header.

Winger Nick Youngquest will definitely miss all three games with the coach expecting him to be sidelined for at least a month with a knee injury, but forward Stuart Jones is available after a shoulder knock and centre Willie Isa is recovering from ligament damage.

Matterson told the Pontefract and Castleford Express: “We’ve come out of last week with no further injuries and we should be getting some players back.

“I’m pretty sure Stuart Jones will be available for Friday and hopefully some time over Easter Willie Isa will be also available.

“Over the three games there may be a chance for Adam Milner and Jordan Thompson, who missed out from the 19 last week. Maybe Nathan Massey as well and we’re looking at bringing John Davies back from York to make sure the numbers are there. These games can take a heavy toll and you don’t know how many players you are going to need.

“Massey’s on a dual register so we can get him back any time, but we will look at bringing John Davies back as well.

“We’ll focus on Friday first and see how we come out of that, but we’ll be using the squad.”

Whatever side makes it onto the field against Wakefield on Friday, Matterson hopes the players have learned from mistakes last week when the Tigers threw away a 24-10 lead with 12 minutes to go and ended up with a draw at Harlequins.

He said: “We were in a position to win the game and win it well.

“I suppose if you look at it, we could have come away with nothing, but I was very disappointed. We were the dominant side for a long period, especially at the start of the second half.

“It’s always a tough trip going down there and it looked like we’d done a really good job at 24-10. But just we popped off, got a little bit flashy and got away from what we were doing really well. It needs to be a good lesson.

“At the end of the day we’ve got away with one point and we could have been dealt a harsher lesson. We learned from the Bradford game and it’s important we learn from this one.

“We played some really good rugby, it was just our composure on the back end of it. I thought our kicking game was good, but our kick-chase was terrible. That comes from attitude and work ethic and we just lost that.”

Matterson wants his team to right what he sees as a wrong in Friday’s match against their local rivals.

He added: “We haven’t won against Wakefield over Easter since I’ve been here so it’s something we’d like to square up and put right.

“The two points are what I’m concerned about, but we know what this game means to the community, there should be a big crowd and there‘s plenty resting on the result.

“The coaching staff are preparing for three games in eight days, but the players are focusing on Friday. I think our best preparation for Monday’s game at St Helens will be to play well and win against Wakefield.

“We’re expecting a tough derby. and we’re really looking forward to it. I’m sure Wakefield are as well and it’s what the game is all about.

“This is a completely different game to the one at Cardiff at the start of the season when they were in turmoil.

“They’re more settled and have got some new players since then. I’ve watched their last few games, they put 50 on Harlequins and even though they ended up with 50 put on them they made St Helens work really hard, especially in the first 30 minutes.

“They’re a hard working team and we are going to have to earn everything we get on Friday night.

“But we’re better than we were at Cardiff as well. I didn’t think we were great that day and we got a couple of late tries to make the score look a bit better.

“I think we are a better outfit now and they are as well so it will be a completely different match.

“The players are feeling confident, but they are smarting as well and got a real kick up the bum this week. They were disappointed after the game last week, they knew it was a game they should have won, but it’s what we do next, learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The full Tigers squad for the Wakefield game is Mathers, Dixon, Arundel, Owen, Chase, Orr, Jackson, Hudson, Huby, Emmitt, Snitch, Ferres, Jones, Fozzard, Aspinwall, Thompson, Holmes, Widders, Clark.