Castleford Tigers: Wigan backlash plays no part in Tigers’ mindset

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CASTLEFORD TIGERS boss Daryl Powell is unconcerned at the prospect of a Wigan Warriors backlash tonight.

Tigers travel to DW Stadium for Wigan’s first game since they were embarrassed 62-0 at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats six days ago.

Grant Millington.

Grant Millington.

The hosts will have a stronger team on show this evening and be determined to get their faltering push for a top-two place back on track.

But Powell insisted: “I don’t think it’s a bad time to play them.

“It doesn’t really matter – we have got to play them at some time.

“They are strong at home, they have proved that for a while, but we have just got to go there and perform well.

“We are a good team and we have got a lot of artillery. If we can go there and play well, we have beaten them before and I don’t see why we can’t do it again.”

Powell added: “We have done well at home against them since I’ve been here and we’ve done really well against them a couple of times away. We are looking to do that again. We know it is going to be tough, but we just have to play well.”

Tigers are full of confidence from last Sunday’s 34-24 victory at Widnes Vikings, when an under-strength team hit back from 18-0 down after the opening quarter.

“We still need to reduce our errors, but we are growing all the time as a team and squad,” Powell said. “We’ve got a special character and spirit in the team.”

Castleford began round 11 in seventh place, three points outside the top-four and just one ahead of ninth-placed Wakefield. Their season could still go either way and Powell stressed: “You always look at the table, but I am not reading anything into it at the moment. I am mindful of it and it makes interesting reading. “Huddersfield and Leeds have got a lot of quality players and you’d expect them to strike back at some point, but it is tough at the moment for a lot of teams.”

Jy Hitchcox, who has signed a new two-year contract keeping him at Cas until the end of 2018, Oliver Holmes and Grant Millington are all back in contention for Tigers tonight.

But Gadwin Springer suffered a groin injury last week and joins Luke Dorn, Ben Roberts, Junior Moors, Ben Crooks, Frankie Mariano and long-term duo Michael Shenton and Ash Robson on the Castleford casualty list.

“I have said to the boys, don’t worry about injuries any more,” Powell said.

“It is what it is and we’ve got what we’ve got.

“We have got genuine squad depth and we have proved that.

“A lot of clubs have had injuries and they have been losing games.

“We have been winning games, which is a massive effort. We are going to crack on and not worry about it too much.”

Wigan Warriors: from Sarginson, Charnley, Higginson, Gildart, Tierney, Gregson, Smith, Clubb, Powell, Mossop, J Tomkins, Isa, Sutton, Tautai, Burke, Bretherton, Bateman, Crosby, Flower.

Castleford Tigers: from Hampshire, Monaghan, Minikin, Webster, Solomona, T Holmes, Gale, Lynch, Milner, Jewitt, Cook, McMeeken, Massey, McShane, Maher, Boyle, Hitchcox, O Holmes, Millington.

Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).

Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.