Castleford motivated to avenge early season Giants defeat

Michael Channing, injured.
Michael Channing, injured.

Castleford Tigers are refreshed and determined to avenge their narrow defeat away to Huddersfield Giants in May.

Head coach Daryl Powell admitted the 29-28 loss at the John Smith’s Stadium would be used as a motivation for the Tigers players when the return game takes place at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle tonight.

He is expecting a tough game even though the Giants are set to be without their injured Man of Steel Danny Brough, but confidence is high that it will be Cas doing the celebrating at the end this time.

Powell told the Express: “We need to put them under pressure, like we did the last time we played them and maintain it a bit better.

“I’ve been looking back at the game at Huddersfield at some of the things that worked for us and some of the things that put us under pressure. I think we were very close to winning and it was disappointing to lose so we’ll use that as a little bit of extra motivation.

“We’ve got every reason to go into the game feeling confident. We’ll be well prepared, we’ve had a decent breather since we last played and it’s a good opportunity for us to really ramp up.

“Obviously Huddersfield are a really good side with loads of quality players and it will be a real challenge for us.

“Physically they are one of the biggest teams in the comp and they’ve got some people who really come at you and challenge you. They don’t give you a lot of time to make decisions defensively so it’s going to be a test for us, but we have got to go into it confidently.

“If we play anywhere near our levels then we’ll have a good chance of coming away with the points, although you recognise they’re a good side. They finished top of the ladder last year and you don’t do that without having a lot of quality.

“They won nine out of 10 before the defeat to Salford last week. I don’t think they’ve been at their best, but they have been winning games, which is a good quality to have.

“They’ll be disappointed from last week and looking to respond. They will be highly motivated and will make it a tough game for us.”

Powell reckons the Giants have strength in depth to cope with the loss of playmaker Brough.

He said: “Danny Brough is an excellent player, he’s the reigning Man of Steel. If he’s not playing then they’ve still got players who’ve got quality and who have been in the team anyway, people like Wood and Robinson and Bailey, who can play at half-back as well, so they will still feel confident.

“But they will miss things like Brough’s ability to kick 40-20s and give them repeat sets. He’s probably the best in the game at that.”

Castleford go into tomorrow’s game without centre Michael Channing, who pulled up injured on his return to the side at Widnes last week, and recent signing Garreth Carvell, who also picked up a knock in the match, but have several others pushing for a recall.

Powell added: “Michael Channing came off early at Widnes and didn’t go back on so he’s not going to be available.

“It’s a reoccurrence of his groin injury and he’s going to be out three or four weeks.

“It rattled us a little bit, to be honest. We had to put Weller Hauraki into the centres, which is not ideal, but he did a good job and was under a fair bit of pressure in a tough position to play when you’re not used to it.

“But Jake Webster is available again as is Liam Finn, who didn’t play last week. Garreth Carvell dislocated his toe so he may not be in there, but we’ve got Scott Wheeldon to bring back after he didn’t play.”