Half-back shortage hits Castleford Tigers for vital Huddersfield Giants showdown

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Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell wants more protection for Danny Richardson - when the half-back returns from injury.

Powell has named Richardson in his 21-man squad for Thursday's meeting with Huddersfield Giants at Warrington, but said he will not play.

With stand-off Jake Trueman still sidelined by a back injury and his stand-in Peter Mata’utia facing six weeks out due to knee damage, Tigers are without an experienced pivot.

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“He got a shoulder charge that nothing was done about, against Hull,” Powell said of Richardson.

Danny Richardson. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.Danny Richardson. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Danny Richardson. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

“I’m pretty disappointed about that as he has had absolutely no protection from the referees or the disciplinary after that.

“I’ve been talking about it since we played St Helens after lockdown when he got put to the ground 10 times and nothing was done.

“This was something just waiting to happen; he gets shoulder charged and nothing gets done about it again - either on the field or after - and he’s got an injury that is going to keep him out.”

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Powell confirmed: “He has had a scan and he’ll have an X-ray.

“He’s got some loose fragments in his shoulder, I’m hoping it’s not going to be too long, but we just don’t know at the moment.

“We’ll have to wait and see exactly what the damage is when we get the x-rays back.”

Mata’utia was also hurt against Hull and Powell said: “I think his knee clashed with Jamie Shaul when he [the Hull man] got knocked out.

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“He has been in a lot of pain so he had a scan and he has got a tear in his tendon.”

Powell described Trueman’s injury as “a really awkward one” and added: “He has had a scan which hasn’t really shown too much, but he is still in so much discomfort and struggling to move.

“He has improved this week, but he is not at a point where he can play.

“We have to look after him and make sure he’s right.

“With Danny Richardson dropping out it makes it really difficult.

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“We are running out of options [at half-back], but Calum Turner has played there and Gaz O’Brien has, so we will see.

“We will have a strong team out there and I am expecting us to play well.

“The boys have trained well this week, so we’re looking forward to it.

“We are not the only team [with injuries] and we’re not complaining - we’ve just got to get on with it and the boys who are out there have got to do the job.”

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Former Hull utility-back Jack Sanderson, who joined Tigers in March on a deal until the end of this season, has been named in the initial squad for the first time.

Matt Cook has recovered from long-term injury and could make his first appearance of the season.

O’Brien will return after being Cup-tied against Hull and Jesse Sene-Lefao, who was stood down on the track and trace protocol, is also back in the squad.

Greg Eden, Nathan Massey and Lewis Peachey are vying for a call-up.

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Adam Milner will serve a one-game ban and Sosaia Feki drops out after suffering a knee injury during his debut against Hull.

Giants’ interim-coach Luke Robinson will select from the team which beat Wakefield Trinity last Thursday, plus Lee Gaskell, who is available after a six-week layoff with a thumb injury, Oliver Russell, Dominic Young and Robson Stevens.

Castleford Tigers: from Olpherts, Shenton, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Griffin, Blair, Clare, O’Neill, Cook, Hepi, Eden, Turner, Peachey, O’Brien, Sanderson.

Huddersfield Giants: from Golding, McGillvary, Jake Wardle, Turner, McIntosh, Gaskell, Sezer, Gavet, Matagi, Edwards, Lawrence, Wilson, Cudjoe, Holmes, Russell, Wood, Trout, Young, McQueen, Stevens.

Referee: Liam Moore (Wigan).

Kick-off: Thursday, 8.15pm, at HJ Stadium, Warrington.

A message from the Editor:

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Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890. We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds. https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/why-yorkshire-evening-post-needs-your-support-laura-collins-yep-editor-2913382

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Thank you

Laura Collins

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