Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell talks Liam Watts' ban, reveals extent of Grant Millington and confirms return for James Clare

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has spoken out about the two-match ban imposed on forward Liam Watts.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 2:15 pm
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 2:16 pm

Powell also revealed another member of Tigers’ pack, Grant Millington, will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a knee injury, suffered in last Saturday’s Betfred Challenge Cup quarter-final win over Salford Red Devils.

Watts was sin-binned for dangerous contact late in that tie and subsequently issued with a one-game penalty notice by the RFL’s match review panel.

That was doubled by a tribunal after Watts appealed.

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Liam Watts will miss Tigers' next two games. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Speaking at his weekly press conference today [Friday], Powell admitted: “I don’t know how he got two.”

He said: “He appealed, but you can’t appeal now can you?

“That’s what they are after.

“I don’t understand it, to be honest.

“Apparently it was a ‘frivolous’ appeal.

“It’s a great word ‘frivolous’ isn’t it, but I just think it’s wrong you can’t appeal something.

“I always thought you were innocent until proven guilty.”

In a social media post after the initial suspension was announced, Watts claimed: “Game’s on its a*** if that’s a one match ban.”

Asked if he thought that comment had contributed to the ban being increased, Powell said: “It shouldn’t have done should it?

“You wouldn’t want to have put that out there, I don’t think.

“But Wattsy’s Wattsy - he does things like that now and again.

“I texted him right away and said we’d appeal it and just keep it to yourself mate.”

Powell now wants to see consistency from the review panel and disciplinary hearings.

He added: “They are trying to stop late challenges on ball players.

“They just need to be a bit more consistent for me.

“We’ve just got to take our medicine, what has happened has happened and there’s nothing we can do about it.

“Liam has just got to work hard as he was finding his form again.

“He has got a couple of weeks off now, which is disappointing, but we just have to get on.”

Powell will name an initial 21-man squad for Monday’s visit of Hull KR at noon on Saturday.

He confirmed: “Grant Millington is injured.

“It will be four to six weeks, we think, with a knee injury.

“It’s disappointing, but it’s a long season and we have quite a few middle men who can do a good job and some young boys in and around there who will be great for us.

“I’m looking forward to seeing some of those younger players back out there again.”

Powell also revealed winger James Clare will feature for the first time this season, following knee surgery.

“He’s great is Sticks,” Powell said of Clare.

“He has a sense of humour, I love that about him, so aside from what he does on the field he brings something else.

“He is consistent - you wouldn’t say he’s ever going to be one of the quickest players on the field as a winger, but he does a lot of hard work.

“You know he’s good for 20 carries, he’s awkward to manage in contact so he gets the game quickened up.

“He’s consistent at challenging kicks - some of the real fundamentals of a winger's game he is great at and consistent with.

“It’s great to see him back in.

“When a player’s been out for a long time and they get an opportunity, you’re always delighted to see them get that opportunity and I am looking forward to seeing him play next week.”

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