LOSING STAND-OFF Ben Roberts for the season is a setback, but not a fatal blow to Castleford Tigers’ hopes of winning silverware, team-mate Jake Webster says.
Roberts, who was due to undergo surgery today, missed 10 games after damaging tendons in a foot during Tigers’ defeat at St Helens on March 4 and suffered a recurrence in his comeback during last Saturday’s win over Warrington Wolves.
Ryan Hampshire, on loan from Wigan Warriors, could step in against his parent club at the Jungle tomorrow and Webster reckons Tigers have enough options to cope.
“We have done it for the majority of the year,” Webster said.
“We lost him early days and he’s been struggling to get back. Seeing him back last weekend was fantastic, but to hear the news he’s out is pretty bad.
“He’s a close mate of mine and I really, really feel for him, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be around to help out in any way he can.
“Macca [Paul McShane] can step up there and we’ve got Rocky [Hampshire] and Tom Holmes who can play there – and Millo [Grant Millington].
“It is one of those things we have to deal with and I’m pretty sure whatever the coaching staff decide to do we’ll put the best side we can out there.”
A win tomorrow would lift Tigers above Wakefield Trinity Wildcats into sixth place in the table, for at least 24 hours.
Tigers are aiming for a third straight Super League success after wins over Leeds Rhinos and Warrington – when they scored 34 unanswered points after trailing 14-0 – and Webster said confidence is high. But he insisted: “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We’ve got a big challenge this week against a team that’s also pretty confident.
“They’re sitting in the top-four and they had a big win over Leeds last week.
“We can’t get complacent at all, we’re not the finished product.
“We’ve definitely got a lot of things we need to work on.
“Playing for 80 minutes is one thing we have to do for sure this week. We can’t play for 50 minutes against a side like Wigan who are very methodical in what they do.
“They come at you from everywhere and it’s definitely going to be a challenge.”