CASTLEFORD Tigers head coach Daryl Powell feels Wigan Warriors counterpart Shaun Wane “disrespected” his side the last time they met.
Second-placed Wigan prospered 33-26 in Super League at Wheldon Road last month but they meet again in an intriguing Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final at DW Stadium tomorrow evening.
Castleford have won just one of their last four games and, therefore, are firm outsiders to progress.
However, they have fond memories of the venue having won there at the same stage in 2014 – Wigan’s first Challenge Cup home defeat in 28 years – before surging on to Wembley where they lost to Leeds Rhinos.
“It’s a tough challenge, no doubt,” said Powell.
“They are a really physical side, well-organised, disciplined, kick well and put you under pressure so you know you have to be all of the above and a little bit more to beat them.
“But I’m confident. A couple of weeks back we had a really poor performance (at home to Widnes) but in all the games around that we’ve been really good.
“Even though we lost to Hull last week we went pretty well and scored more tries than they did.
“We’ve played all the perceived better sides in the comp’ and challenged them all so there’s no reason to fear anyone.
“I heard Shaun Wane say, when Wigan fortuitously beat us here, they were four out of 10.
“I thought that was a bit disrespectful myself. I think if we bring our A game on Saturday, I‘m not really interested in what Wigan bring.”
After the agonising 24-22 loss to league leaders Hull, Castleford are without cup-tied on-loan winger Paddy Flynn but should be bolstered by the return of captain Luke Gale and second-row Mike McMeeken while another back-row, Oli Holmes, could play his first game since the 26-12 league loss at Wigan in April.
That was Holmes’ first match back after a six-week lay-off but he suffered a recurrence of a knee injury to sideline him for a further two months and, so, has played only four matches all year. Powell is relishing the chance to see his industrious forward in action again.
“He’s missed a lot hasn’t he?” said the coach.
“Oli’s a great personality, a tough character who plays tough, hits hard, does all the dirty stuff and it’s great to have him in and around the team again.”
Widnes hope to have Australian second rower Chris Houston back from a two-match injury absence while Warrington have lost prop Ashton Sims to suspension ahead of their quarter final this evening.