Video: Nathan Massey blow countered by more positive injury news for Castleford Tigers
FORWARD NATHAN Massey is the latest name added to Castleford Tigers’ casualty list, but it is not all bad news ahead of the trip to Huddersfield Giants in two days’ time.
Massey will miss out after suffering a collarbone injury during the 38-28 comeback win over Wigan Warriors last Friday. That is a blow for Tigers, but coach Daryl Powell - who will name his initial 19-man squad today - confirmed fellow pack men Mike McMeeken and Junior Moors could return.
“We have got a couple of checks on Wednesday,” Powell said. “We could have a couple of players coming back which would be pretty helpful.”
Of Massey, Powell said: “It’s not serious. He will be out a couple of weeks.”
McMeeken and Moors returning would give Powell some more options, but the coach admitted he has “a decision to make” on Tigers’ right-edge.
That has been a problem area all year and tries conceded on that side of the field allowed Wigan to build a 24-8 lead last week, before Tigers hit back.
Tuoyo Egodo was called up in the right-centre for the Wigan game and, after a tough first half, scored the crucial try.
“Clearly our right edge has been under a fair bit of pressure for the last few weeks,” Powell said.
“They came up against [Konrad] Hurrell [Leeds Rhinos’ left-centre] and didn’t handle that too well, then [Oliver] Gildart caused us some trouble last week.
“We have got some areas to fix up for certain, but in lots of ways I think - even in the first half - we played really well in certain areas.
“Metres-wise we were massive, even in the first half our middle unit were doing a great job.
“There will be a couple of changes, but what that looks like at the moment, I will have to check the injuries on Wednesday.”
Of the uncertainty over the right-centre position, Powell added: “That has been the case for a few weeks now.
“We’ve just got to find a combination that works for us, but I thought we got better in the second half against Wigan.”
Minikin is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and Powell confirmed talks have already begun over a new deal.
Though Tigers have been without a specialist in that position since Jake Webster left the club last autumn, Powell insisted problems on the right hand side of the field are due to a number of factors.
“Mike McMeeken has been missing and he is an embedded right back-rower for us,” he noted,
“We lost a half-back in pre-season and then another and another.
“There’s been so many changes and I didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it has been, but we’ve just got to stiffen up over there and find the combination that works for us.”
Alex Foster, one possible option in the right-centre, is set to miss a second successive game due to a knee problem.
“It’s causing him a fair bit of trouble,” Powell admitted.
“His season so far has been pretty stop-start and he hasn’t really got into a groove, which for him is obviously difficult and disappointing.
“He handled Konrad Hurrell pretty comfortably in the pre-season game we had and hopefully this will be the last game he’s out.”