Season comes down to this game – Terry

Terry Matterson.
Terry Matterson.
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The winners of today’s round 27 clash will be the final team to qualify for the Engage Super League play-offs – and it’s season over for the losers.

“It is do or die and that’s the way we are approaching it,” Matterson said. “We are still in with a chance and we’ve got to make the most of it.”

Tigers could have secured qualification last week, but a 50-18 home defeat to Hull left their hopes hanging by a thread.

Matterson added: “It was disappointing, especially the way we fell away. We were right in the game before half-time and we scored the first try after it, but we need a lot more of what we did in the first 30 minutes – without the errors.


“We have got to be very clinical, because there’s no more second chances now. We are lucky to have got another chance. It wasn’t make or break last week, but it is now.”

Missing out on a play-off spot would be heartbreaking admitted Matterson, who will leave Tigers at the end of the season to return to Australia’s NRL.

“Qualifying is massive for us,” he said. “We want to play semi-final football and we want to go as far as we can.

“It means more development for the players and once you are in the play-offs, anything can happen.

“It’s a long road from where we are, but we will take it week by week.”

Hull KR’s season has been a mirror image of Tigers’ – and their coach is also leaving when it is over.

Ironically, Justin Morgan turned down the chance to take over from Matterson in the Cas hot-seat.

The Tigers coach said: “We won seven of our first eight and they’ve won seven of their last eight.

“They have done really well over the last couple of months and they’ve been playing semi-final football for a while.

“They were in Catalan last week and that takes a lot out of you, so that could be a factor in our favour.

“But we have got to do the little things right. That’s where we have been falling down since the Challenge Cup semi-final. When things have gone wrong, we’ve not handled them well. We have got to ensure not as many things go wrong and when they do, we have got to react in the right manner.”

Tigers could be without back-rower Martin Aspinwall, who is rated as a “major doubt” due to an unspecified injury.

Winger Nick Youngquest has joined the casualty list – which already included long-termers Kirk Dixon, Paul Jackson, Craig Huby, Jacob Emmitt, Brett Ferres and Jonathan Walker – after being hurt during last week’s defeat. Ryan McGoldrick begins a two-match ban and on-loan prop Ben Davies has been left out of the initial 19.

Hooker Adam Milner has recovered from an infection and is set to return. Jordan Thompson, Daryl Clark, Rob Parker and John Davies are also back in contention.

Rovers’ initial 19 includes the players on duty in last Saturday’s win in Perpignan, plus Blake Green and Liam Salter.

Hull KR: from Briscoe, Latus, Webster, Welham, Hall, Galea, Dobson, Vella, Hodgson, Watts, Newton, Lovegrove, Taylor, Fisher, Murrell, Wheeldon, Cox, Green, Salter.

Castleford Tigers: from Mathers, Thompson, Isa, Arundel, Owen, Chase, Orr, Massey, Hudson, Parker, Jones, Holmes, Aspinwall, Snitch, Fozzard, Widders, Milner, Clark, J Davies.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield). Kick-off: Today, 5.45pm.

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