Castleford gearing up for big derby test

Adam Milner, in line for a recall.
Adam Milner, in line for a recall.

Castleford Tigers head coach Powell is expecting a tough game when Wakefield Wildcats come to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday and does not think the fact that they have beaten their local rivals twice already this season will have any bearing.

He said: “Derby games are always different, there’s a bit of spice about them and I don’t expect Sunday’s game to be any different.

“Wakefield still have a chance of the top eight. It will be tough for them, but while there’s still a chance they will be relishing the prospect of coming and having a pop at us.

“James Webster’s done a good job since taking over and with Tim Smith back and pulling the strings they will be a tough team to play against.

“Their half-backs are playing well, particularly Tim Smith, but their forward pack with people like Ali Lauitiiti and Tautai poses a real threat with their ability to offload and punch holes in you.

“It will be a real tough game. They were certainly playing right on top of their game against Salford so I’m expecting it to be a real challenge.

“We have beaten them twice this year, but I don’t think that will count for any-thing. They are a different team now and have a fair bit of confidence about them so I don’t think we need to be thinking that anything’s going to be given because we’ve already beaten them.

“They are going to be coming at us and it’s a new game –we’ve got to start from the off with the right attitude and give ourselves a chance of getting the two points and maintain what has been an outstanding season for us so far.”

Castleford will still be without injured stars Justin Carney, Grant Millington and Craig Huby, but Powell is considering making a couple of changes with prop Garreth Carvell and hooker Adam Milner in particular pressing for a recall.

He added: “We’ve got a couple of players back in contention in Gaz Carvell and Adam Milner. Apart from that it will not be too far away from what we’ve had recently.

“There’s nobody coming back from injury, Grant Millington along with Justin Carney and Craig Huby will still be missing, but everybody else pretty much apart from Boyle and Fleming are available.

“The initial thoughts with Justin Carney’s ankle was that it would be four to six weeks, but we’ll wait and see how he progresses.

“James Clare did well again in his place and finished well for his try against Bradford. He’s done well for us whenever he’s come in.

“He’s getting good at diving over in the corner as we talk about getting your feet off the ground and they can’t put you in to touch. Obviously the flag’s out the equation now.

“James is finishing really well and I’m pleased for him.”