Castleford Tigers boss Danny Ward: 'We need to walk the walk now'
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What could go wrong did go wrong in the Tigers’ game at Warrington Wolves last Saturday as they lost three players to injury in the first half, had playmaker Jacob Miller sin-binned and subsequently banned and collapsed alarmingly to see their points difference wiped out.
It has left them vulnerable again as one win for Wakefield Trinity would almost certainly be enough for them to win the relegation fight unless Cas are able to be victorious in any of their three remaining fixtures.
With only one of them at home and the other two away against teams chasing the title and a play-off spot it is not looking good for the Tigers, but it is still in their own hands and Ward wants the players to stand up and be counted against Hull at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle tomorrow night.
After the 66-12 hammering at Warrington, he said: “It was a pretty bad day, a poor performance.
"It’s a pretty dark dressing room, a few home truths have been said and the lads have said the right things about fixing things up but we just need to walk the walk now.
“We have probably had a lot of those conversations this year after defeats and it’s all about actions now.
“The beauty of this game is that we have a short turnaround, six days until we play at home against Hull FC so we can’t sulk, we need to put this to bed and get back on the horse.”
Ward continued: “A few stuck their hands up and put in a big shift and had a dig, but we are not a team that can carry passengers and a few give up at times.
“We just let Warrington do what they wanted, they were too quick and we weren’t doing those little extra efforts needed and we crumbled.
“We are all in this together, there will be some soul searching but we need to get back into it.”
Ward will be hampered with his ever lengthening injury list now including Charbel Tasipale, George Lawler and Sam Hall. The latter two will definitely sit out the Hull match after failing head assessments while Tasipale damaged his hamstring and is doubtful.
Prop Liam Watts will be back after his latest ban, but Cas have lost half-back Miller to a one-match suspension for his tip tackle on Peter Mata’utia.
Hull will also be forced into a change in the halves with Jake Clifford banned for one match for other contrary behaviour.
With their squad light in numbers Cas have recalled hooker Cain Robb from his his loan spell at Swinton Lions.
He was sent on loan until the end of the current season, but the Tigers’ circumstances have necessitated an early recall for the livewire hooker.
Cain made a winning debut for the Lions in their victory over Keighley Cougars and he also featured against Toulouse and Bradford. He missed out on last weekend’s trip to York owing to a failed HIA against Bradford.