CASTLEFORD TIGERS boss Daryl Powell has refused to label tonight’s clash with Salford Red Devils as a grudge match.
It will be former Man of Steel Rangi Chase’s first return to MAH Jungle since he switched from Castleford to Salford last year and he will go head-to-head with Marc Sneyd, who moved the other way on a season-long loan as part of the same deal.
Salford – who ended Tigers’ unbeaten start to the season – have rejected Cas’ attempts to keep Sneyd next term, but confirmed the signing of second-rower Weller Hauraki, who will play against them this evening.
The ingredients are there for a spicy clash, but Powell insisted: “I don’t think there’s an ill-feeling between the players. There’s probably a little bit elsewhere, but I don’t think we need to get too concerned about that. We just have to go out and do the job, play as well as we can and not worry too much about that stuff.”
Sneyd and Chase will be the rival stand-offs tonight and Powell knows keeping their old boy in check is the key to his team’s hopes of ending a two-game losing run.
“Rangi is an outstanding player and a massive threat,” Powell conceded. “We need to deal with him a fair bit better than the last time we played them.
“He is a talented player and if you stand off him and allow him to dictate, you will be stood behind your posts a fair bit. It’s important we deal with him in the right way and then it’s about us playing our game.
“We need to get back on our standards. I don’t think we have been as honest and worked as hard as we have done at previous times this season. The last two weeks have been disappointing, but every team has those periods when you are not going so well. It is about getting out of them as quick as you can and this is a good opportunity for us.”
Of Sneyd, Powell said: “Marc can’t worry too much about what’s going on at Salford. He is a Castleford player at the moment and he has just got to get on with his job. He has been pretty threatening this year and hopefully he can do the same again.”
Garreth Carvell, on loan from Hull, will make his Tigers debut. Justin Carney is available after illness and Adam Milner and Scott Wheeldon are also vying for a recall, with James Clare and Oliver Holmes dropping out from the team beaten at St Helens last week.
Powell said: “Garreth hasn’t got a contract for next year yet, with anybody. When we signed him until the end of the season I was conscious we’d be getting a motivated player, who is playing for a contract whether here or elsewhere.
“It is great when you get players who have got that kind of mentality.
“He has slotted in excellently, he’s been at a few clubs and he knows what slotting into a new environment is all about.”
Salford could give a debut to former Castleford centre Josh Griffin, who joined them this week from Batley Bulldogs and Mason Caton-Brown, signed from London Broncos. Set for a recall are Theo Fages, ex-Tigers winger Danny Williams and Gareth Hock, with Andrew Dixon, Darrell Griffin and Michael Platt giving way.
Castleford Tigers from: Dorn, Dixon, Webster, Shenton, Carney, Sneyd, Finn, Lynch, Clark, Huby, Mariano, Hauraki, Millington, Massey, Ellis, Jewitt, Wheeldon, Milner, Carvell.
Salford Red Devils from: Evalds, Johnson, Sau, Meli, Walton, Chase, Fages, Tasi, Morley, Tomkins, Hock, J Walne, Rapira, Puletua, Lee, J Griffin, Ashurst, Caton-Brown, Williams.
Referee: Tim Roby (Preston).
Kick-off: Tonight, 7pm.