Castleford Tigers: Cas are well placed to end hoodoo, says Powell

Daryl Powell.Daryl Powell.
Daryl Powell.
IN-FORM CASTLEFORD Tigers will aim to end 24 years of hurt at Langtree Park tonight.

Tigers have not won away to St Helens since a 12-8 success in the third round of the Regal Trophy on December 19, 1992.

That was 26 visits ago and their last league win at Saints was 29-16 on October 21, 1990.

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In the summer era, which began in 1996, Tigers suffered 14 defeats in 15 games at Saints’ old Knowsley Road ground, with one draw in 1998.

They have also lost to Saints at Anfield in 1997, Widnes in 2011 and five times at the new Langtree Park ground, which was opened in 2012.

Coach Daryl Powell described tonight’s visit to Saints as “another challenge”, but he insisted: “We have nothing to be worried about. We have just got to play well and if we can play well we have a chance.”

Tigers are in better form than their hosts, with two wins and a draw from their opening three matches. Saints are a point behind, having two wins under their belt and Powell stressed: “We are going in with some confidence. In my first year we had not won at Hull KR in 20-odd years and we’ve not lost there since! But it is a tough place to go, Saints.

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“It always is, it doesn’t matter what sort of frame of mind they are in, they are always difficult to beat. We have just got to focus on our own game and if we get it right we will challenge Saints. We think we can cause them some trouble, but we have also got to look after their threats.

“They have got a lot of quality in the team and James Roby coming back has really stiffened them up.”

Powell believes Tigers are not yet at their best, despite a strong start to the campaign.

“We can get better,” he stressed.

“With the ball we did some good things against Hull last week, but I thought we lacked a bit of consistency with the ball at times.

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“We have broken it right down and we know exactly what we have got to do to be better. We need to be a bit more organised with the ball and there are definitely improvements in the team.”

Tigers will go into tonight’s game without forward Oliver Holmes, who suffered a groin injury during last week’s 31-24 victory. Joel Monaghan missed that match due to a back problem and is still sidelined, so Jy Hitchcox will retain his place.

Gadwin Springer, Will Maher and on-loan Ryan Hampshire – who has yet to make his Tigers debut – could step in. Saints are without the suspended Travis Burns and Andre Savelio is also out from the team which won at Hull KR last week.

Theo Fages, Greg Richards, Joe Greenwood and Morgan Knowles are in contention for a call-up.

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St Helens from: Makinson, Turner, Swift, Walsh, Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Vea, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Tasi, Richards, Thompson, Peyroux, Fages, Greenwood, Dawson, McDonnell, Knowles.

Castleford Tigers from: Dorn, Webster, Solomona, Roberts, Gale, Lynch, Milner, Millington, McMeeken, Massey, Jewitt, McShane, Cook, Moors, Hampshire, Crooks, Springer, Maher, Hitchcox.

Referee: James Child (Batley).

Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.