Key players set to return for Tigers

Tigers skipper Michael Shenton is set to return to face his old club St Helens on Sunday. Picture: Steve Riding.
Tigers skipper Michael Shenton is set to return to face his old club St Helens on Sunday. Picture: Steve Riding.

Castleford coach Daryl Powell expects to welcome back key players for Sunday’s Super League clash at St Helens.

Daryl Clark (hamstring), Jake Webster (knee), Marc Sneyd (shoulder), Andy Lynch (hamstring), Jordan Tansey (knee) and Michael Shenton (rested) all missed Friday’s 46-6 defeat at Wigan when prop Nathan Massey made a successful comeback from injury.

“I am expecting quite a few blokes to be back in contention this week,” said Powell who confirmed that skipper Shenton was the only player rested for the Wigan match.

“There was only Michael Shenton without any injury at all. The others had injuries of some nature which made life difficult for them,” he added.

“There’s a couple who are a little more doubtful than others. We will wait until later in the week to see where they are at.

“Daryl Clark nearly missed the Challenge Cup quarterfinal. Having played in that game, there was no way he could have played last week and he will be one of those we will check on later in the week but I’m hoping he will be okay for this weekend.

“Jordan Tansey hurt his knee in training. He would have been on the bench last week but he was injured.”

With just four points separating the top six teams, it could hardly be closer at the top of Super League.

The Tigers are currently fourth, just two points adrift of joint leaders Wigan and St Helens.

Saints will look to bounce back from a 42-0 drubbing at Catalan Dragons last Saturday.

“It’s pretty tight now at the top of Super League,” said Powell.

“We need to get some consistency back. It’s a new block of games for us now and there are some tough matches in there but we need to respond.

“Obviously, St Helens got rattled a bit last week at Catalan so it will be an interesting game for us.”

The Tigers will be seeking their first victory over St Helens for six years on Sunday when they will also aim to avenge their home defeat against Saints in April.

St Helens snatched a 30-28 victory at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle two months ago after the Tigers led 24-6 at half-time.

“It was a game we should have won,” added Powell.

“Obviously, there were a couple of errors from the officials which hurt us but overall we let it slip after half-time.

“If you turn that result round, we are top of the table so it was a pretty important one on the face of it, but we are still in a good position.

“We’ve given ourselves a great platform and we need to maintain what we’ve been doing and step up this week.

Powell was disappointed with his side’s display at Wigan last Friday.

“We didn’t really perform anywhere near our ability. I thought defensively we were a bit shaky at times and we were nowhere our standards,” he said.

“It was disappointing and we are obviously looking to get back to where we need to be this week.”