CASTLEFORD TIGERS will be looking to exploit the fatigue factor when they square up to champions Wigan Warriors at Probiz Coliseum on Sunday.
Seven Wigan players were involved in last night’s International Origin match and Tigers assistant-coach Andy Hay expects them all to feature tomorrow, if fit.
In contrast, stand-off Rangi Chase, pictured left, will be the only Tigers man playing his second game in three days.
“There will be a bit of a fatigue factor,” said Hay, who has been supervising training this week with boss Terry Matterson away on Exiles duty.
“I think all their players will back-up, I can’t see why he (coach Michael Maguire) would leave them out.
“Most of the ones who will be backing-up are backs. The fatigue factor won’t count as much in the forwards, but in the backs we might try and run them around a bit, so completions and possession of the ball is important.
“That said, we are going to be doing what we want to do. We have looked at Wigan, but we need to get back on track and get our performance right.”
Tigers were beaten 40-18 away to Huddersfield Giants last Sunday. The Cas squad reviewed that game earlier in the week and Hay said: “Some of the guys put their hand up and admitted they didn’t perform to their capabilities.
“We have worked a lot on defence. Some really poor defensive errors or missed tackles resulted in a couple of soft tries for them.
“We have let a lot of points in in the last few weeks, so we have to to pick that up. But also we were down last week on our ball control and completions.
“We have got to start posing more of a threat and putting the opposition under pressure helps you defensively.
“We know how strong Wigan are at returning the ball, so our kicking game and our kick-chase has got to be good.”
Tigers are without prop Jonathan Walker, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last week. Back-rower Stuart Jones (shoulder) also drops out, with Ryan Hudson, Nathan Massey, Steve Snitch and Ryan McGoldrick all in line for a recall.
The seven Wigan players on duty last night are all included in their initial 19. Maguire will select from the 17 players beaten by Catalan Dragons last week, plus Stefan Marsh and Jack Hughes – who were 18th and 19th man.
Castleford Tigers: from Mathers, Dixon, Thompson, Arundel, Owen, Chase, Orr, Jackson, Milner, Emmitt, Snitch, Ferres, Aspinwall, Fozzard, Widders, Clark, Hudson, Massey, McGoldrick.
Wigan Warriors: from S Tomkins, Charnley, J Tomkins, Carmont, Richards, Finch, Deacon, Prescott, Leuluai, Mossop, Hansen, Hoffman, O’Loughlin, McIlorum, Lima, Farrell, Tuson, March, Hughes.
Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).
Kick-off: Sunday, 3.30pm.