Posted: Wednesday 9th September 2020 - 7:00 PM

The Wolves are the first test in four days for Castleford when they clash in the Betfred Super League on Thursday evening and head coach Daryl Powell has made it clear he expects all of his players’ attention to be on an in-form Wire outfit at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

That means any talk of Sunday’s impending cup tie against Hull FC will have to wait – two points against the Wolves is the focus for now. And it will need every ounce of concentration to overcome a Warrington side that have won four from four since the competition’s restart.

“If you look at the top four and where we are, this game is key. If we win this game, we go within two points of Warrington which is why this game is so important for us,” Powell said at this week’s pre-match press conference.

“We can’t worry about anything else, we’ve got to get after this game and build some consistency because we’ve not quite done that yet (since the restart), either within games or from game to game.

“We’ve not got to go out there and do ourselves justice. Our leaders need to do what they did last week and play well.”

Powell is, of course, referring to last week’s comeback victory over Salford Red Devils when the Tigers overturned an early 18-0 deficit to claim the spoils with hooker Paul McShane and scrum half Danny Richardson both influential.

The following night, the Wolves continued their excellent recent run with a comprehensive win over Hull FC. Warrington were missing seven players due to coronavirus protocols but opted to go ahead with the fixture for the benefit of the competition, and their attitude was fully justified with a 37-12 victory.

The Wolves will again be without the same players for Thursday’s clash with the Tigers, but are boosted by the return of Ben Murdoch-Masila from suspension to bolster the squad.

“They’ve got a few players missing but we’ve played against them in the past with 10 or 11 players missing and won the game, so that should tell us not to take anything for granted,” Powell added on the Wolves.

“They’re still a really good team that did a job on Hull last week. They’ll come with a high quality game, they’ll play with plenty of enthusiasm and they’ve got some experienced players in there.”

Cas will once again be without Jake Trueman for the match against the Wolves with the England playmaker absent with a niggling back injury. Sosaia Feki, Cheyse Blair, Daniel Smith and Jesse Sene-Lefao are also missing for the Tigers, but winger James Clare comes back into contention after suffering a neck injury against Wigan a fortnight ago.

Trueman’s absence means Peter Mata’utia is set to continue in the halves alongside Danny Richardson, who will go head-to-head against the in-form Blake Austin, the Wolves stand-off who kicked a last-minute drop goal to settle the previous meeting between the two sides earlier this season.

Up front, Liam Watts and Mike Cooper were both excellent for their respective sides last week and will battle it out in the front row, whilst Man of Steel leader McShane could go up against former Fords hooker Daryl Clark, although the latter is a potential doubt with his wife due to give birth to their first child any day now.


WHEN: Thursday, 10th September at 8.15pm

WHERE: Totally Wicked Stadium

HOW TO WATCH: Sky Sports Arena (Channel 408) - Season Ticket holders who registered to watch via OURLEAGUE will be able to tune in using their stream codes on the app.

GET INVOLVED: Cheer the Tigers on throughout the day on social media using #ReadyToRoar


Castleford Tigers 21-man squad: 2. Derrell Olpherts, 3. Peter Mata’utia, 4. Michael Shenton, 7. Danny Richardson, 8. Liam Watts, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Grant Millington, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Mike McMeeken, 13. Adam Milner, 14. Nathan Massey, 16. George Griffin, 17. Alex Foster, 20. Junior Moors, 21.James Clare, 22. Jacques O’Neill, 24. Tyla Hepi, 25. Greg Eden, 26. Calum Turner, 27. Lewis Peachey, 34. Gareth O’Brien.

Warrington Wolves 21-man squad: 1. Stefan Ratchford, 2. Tom Lineham, 3. Anthony Gelling, 4. Toby King, 5. Josh Charnley, 6. Blake Austin, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Mike Cooper, 11. Ben Currie, 13. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 16. Leilani Latu, 17. Jake Mamo, 20. Danny Walker. 21. Declan Patton, 22. Luis Johnson, 24. Keanan Brand, 26. Matty Ashton, 27. Ellis Robson, 29, Josh Thewlis, 31. Ellis Longstaff, 33. Eribe Doro


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