Match preview: Tigers vs Giants

Posted: Thursday 24th September 2020 - 7:00 AM


Last season saw the clubs contest a number of thrilling games, with Castleford going down to a 20-18 at the John Smith’s Stadium before hitting back with a Golden Point win on home soil and a more routine 24-0 victory in August.

This season, both teams impressed pre-lockdown with a series of results to suggest they could have a big say on the course of the season, but the Tigers and the Giants have struggled to recapture that form since the restart with a solitary win each.

That victory came last week for the Giants who had the impressive NRL Grand Finalist Aidan Sezer back in their side and he was at his mercurial best as they comfortably brushed Wakefield aside.

For the Tigers, head coach Daryl Powell will be hoping a weekend off will freshen up his bruised troops who conceded a late try in a narrow loss to Warrington in their last Betfred Super League outing before running out of steam as they exited the Coral Challenge Cup at the hands of Hull FC just four days later.

However, if the Fords are to return to winning ways against the Giants, Powell’s men will have to do it without a raft of senior players, with the likes of Peter Mata’utia, Sosaia Feki, Jake Trueman and Danny Richardson all absent from the back line and several forwards injured up front.

“We’ve tried to freshen the boys up after what they’ve had to go through in those two games against Warrington and Hull,” Daryl told this week’s pre-match press conference.

“They’ve trained well this week but there’s a few injuries knocking about and it’s a tough period at the moment.

“Mata’utia is going to be out for about six weeks with a tear in his tendon in his knee, Jake Trueman still isn’t fit and Danny Richardson won’t play this week. He got a shoulder charge against Hull so it’s really difficult for us in the halves.

“We’re battling through but one thing we will do is give some young players an opportunity and that’s going to set us up for the future which is great.

“We’re going to have some players playing out of position a little bit which doesn’t help but we’re not complaining and we’re not the only team going through it. Huddersfield had their share of injuries and played without their two starting half backs a few weeks ago, so we’re just cracking on with it.

“We’ll still have a good side out there and I expect us to play well. It’s an important game for us and we need to find a way of winning it.”

In contrast to the Tigers, the Giants are boosted by the return of Lee Gaskell this week to partner Sezer in the halves and Powell is expected a tough test against a side now coached by Luke Robinson following the recent departure of Simon Woolford.

“He (Robinson) was a half back himself, he’s pretty smart,” Powell said of his new opposite number at Huddersfield.

“You can see he’s got hold of them straight away and whilst he hasn’t changed too much, they played with a bit of freedom and accuracy last week. He was a smart player and no doubt he’ll be a smart coach.

“We’re obviously mindful of the way they’re going to play but we’re really focused on ourselves and getting our performances right. We want our players to be on top of their game and they’re going to need to be tomorrow to win the game.”

 

WHEN: Thursday, 24th September at 8.15pm

WHERE: Halliwell Jones 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, 4. Michael Shenton, 7. Danny Richardson, 8. Liam Watts, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Grant Millington, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Mike McMeeken, 14. Nathan Massey, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 16. George Griffin, 18. Cheyse Blair, 21. James Clare, 22. Jacques O’Neill, 23. Matt Cook, 24. Tyla Hepi, 25. Greg Eden, 26. Calum Turner, 27. Lewis Peachey, 34. Gareth O’Brien, 35. Jack Sanderson

Huddersfield Giants 20-man squad: 1. Ashton Golding, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Jake Wardle, 4. Jordan Turner, 5. Darnell McIntosh, 6. Lee Gaskell, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. James Gavet, 10. Suaia Matagi, 11. Kenny Edwards, 13. Michael Lawrence, 15. Oliver Wilson, 21. Leroy Cudjoe, 22. Tom Holmes, 23. Oliver Russell, 27. Sam Wood, 31. Owen Trout, 32. Dominic Young, 34. Chris McQueen, 35. Robson Stevens

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