Castleford Tigers will be looking for a change of fortune as well as revenge when they travel to Newcastle for their Magic Weekend local derby with Wakefield Wildcats on Sunday.
Daryl Powell’s men suffered more injury setbacks in their unlucky defeat to Huddersfield Giants last week and will once again be without at least six unavailable first teamers as they look to erase the memory of a shock opening day defeat to the Wildcats at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Forwards Frankie Mariano and Ryan Bailey added to the Tigers’ lengthy injury list with Mariano almost certainly having played his last game this season.
They join full-back Luke Dorn, winger Justin Carney and forwards Matt Cook and Scott Wheeldon in definitely being ruled out of Sunday’s game, although there is a chance of hooker Scott Moore returning after a broken toe has kept him out of the last three matches.
“It looks like Frankie has done his ACL (anterior cruciate knee ligament),” said head coach Powell.
“It’s a tough injury for Frankie and for us because we are consistently getting pretty big injuries. But we’ve just got to get on with it, that’s the nature of the sport.
“It is a pretty serious injury and he will be missing for the rest of the season, if that’s what it is.
“He’s been really unlucky. He had an operation on his wrist, which has been a bit of a long-standing injury for him.
“He came back from that and did it again and now this, so it has been a tough year for him.”
Mariano will be joined on the sidelines this week by prop Bailey, who also limped off against Huddersfield, but the former Leeds Rhinos man’s injury should not prove as serious.
Powell said: “He has torn his calf a little bit, but I don’t think it’s too severe.
“It is probably a two-week injury.”
Castleford travel to St James’s Park on the back of three straight defeats, making the game all the more important as they look to get their top eight bid back on track.
Wakefield have lost their last 12 Super League games, but did win 24-22 in the first game of the season at Cas, coming from 22-6 down with 15 minutes to play.
Sunday’s game is not merely about revenge for that defeat, however, according to Powell.
He added: “Ultimately it’s about us and performing well. If we do that, I don’t think it matters who we’re playing, we give ourselves a real good chance of winning the game.
“We need to be flat out in this game, 100 mile an hour right from the start.”