IT HAS been a long and challenging campaign for Castleford Tigers, but coach Daryl Powell says they still have things to prove.
Tigers will be without another player through injury when they visit Catalans Dragons today, after forward Junior Moors suffered knee ligament damage in last week’s defeat at St Helens.
Powell admitted this year is the worst he has experienced, as a player or coach, for injuries, but insisted he is relishing the final two games.
Asked if he will be glad when the season is over, Powell said: “You can’t look at it that way.
“We want to finish the season positively. We are still trying to show there’s more to us and we have got to focus on the two games coming up.
“It is about finding a way to win a couple of games that are really important to us.”
The tone was set for the season when captain Michael Shenton suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in the Super League round one fixture at Hull KR and Powell reflected: “It has been tough all year.
“We haven’t been able to do what we’ve wanted to do in training, but we just have to get on with it.
“Most of the injuries haven’t been preventable. There’s been one I think we could have managed better, which was Luke Dorn’s hamstring tear.
“Other than that they have pretty much all been breaks or ligament damage as a result of contact.
“Most of them are contact injuries and you can’t avoid those. It’s the nature of the game.”
The play-offs are out of reach, but Tigers could overhaul Catalans for fifth place if they win in Perpignan today and beat Widnes Vikings at the Jungle in eight days’ time.
Catalans’ 14-10 success at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats last week was only their second victory in 11 games, but Powell warned: “They are better at home.
“We’ve got to manage the travel well and we need to be physical because they are a big team. We just need to go there and play well. If we do that we have a chance, like we have against anyone.
Oliver Holmes could return after illness for Tigers, who stayed in Leeds overnight and will be flying to and from France today.
Mike McMeeken is in line to make his first appearance since suffering a fractured leg against Salford in July.
Gadwin Springer is also in contention following injury and Andre Savelio will play after being ineligible last week under the terms of his loan from Saints. Rangi Chase is suspended and misses out.
Fouad Yaha and Jason Baitieri drop out from the Catalans team which won at Belle Vue.
Dave Taylor, Jordan Sigismeau, Lucas Albert and Alrix Da Costa are in contention for a call into the 17.
Catalans Dragons: from Gigot, Broughton, Duport, Myler, Anderson, Aiton, Casty, Stewart, Horo, Taylor, Bousquet, Pelissier, Mounis, Elima, Sigismeau, Albert, Da Costa, Garcia, Seguier.
Castleford Tigers: from Cook, Crooks, Douglas, Dorn, Fitzsimmons, Flynn, Gale, Hampshire, O Holmes, Maher, McMeeken, McShane, Milner, Minikin, Patrick, Savelio, Solomona, Springer, Webster.
Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).
Kick-off: Today, 5pm.