Castleford hope to have Luke Dorn back for Sunday’s home game against Super League leaders Hull FC after the Aussie full-back missed last Thursday’s 38-28 defeat against Widnes with a calf problem.
Dorn’s return would be an important boost for what coach Daryl Powell has described as big game for the Tigers.
“Hopefully, Luke will be back. It will be a big lift for us because he’s a key player. As we saw last week our attacking game wasn’t where it needed to be without him,” Powell told The Express.
“It’s a big game for us against Hull and I think the players realise that so we need to kick on this week and show an outstanding attitude. Every one of them needs to be playing right on top of their game to win this week.”
Powell is looking for a similar reaction from his players to the one Hull got after they were hammered 46-6 at Widnes in March. Since then, they have lost just one of 14 games in all competitions.
“Hull had a little bit of adversity that has flipped their season round. Players have taken a fair bit of ownership and it’s something we need to do,” said Powell.
“They had a really poor result against Widnes and I think that was the day their players decided they were going to be serious about the season because they were in a bit of a poor run of form after a great start.
“We need something similar. We need the guys to respond and turn up on a consistent basis and deliver their jobs which we know they are capable of delivering on a weekly basis.
“If we get that right we are confident we challenge everyone we play against when we are in that frame of mind.
“On the flip side of it, you turn up a little bit off and you get your noses rubbed in the dirt and we don’t want to see that again, that has happened to us too many times this season. You need to be right on top of what you are doing and this week is a key one.”
The Tigers will be aiming to complete a league double after winning 31-24 at Hull earlier this season.
“The week after we won at Hull we played St Helens and lost a lot of players and that really rattled our season. It has probably had the biggest impact on our season what happened in that game,” added Powell.
“We were really good at Hull. We were good defensively and I thought we played some pretty sharp rugby league that put them under pressure. This Sunday, we just need to be outstanding across the board, with and without the ball, because Hull’s size and physicality is tough to deal with.
“We know we can beat them and I think that’s the same with every team in the competition. We know we can beat anyone, it’s about us turning up with the right attitude.
“Hull are top of the table and deserve to be there. They’ve got no injuries and they’ve had minimal injuries all year. They are a big, physical team who really challenge you - the same sort of things we talked about when we played them earlier in the season.”
The Tigers boss will check on Ollie Holmes and Jy Hitchcox who are sidelined with knee injuries.
“Ollie is up and down. He’s okay with his knee this week so we’ll just see how he is but I won’t make any predictions. It’s been a tough injury for him,” said Powell.
“Jy has a knee problem and he’s a little bit like Ollie. He’s had an injection and hopefully it has settled it down. He ran the other day and we’ll see the reaction he gets from that.”