Castleford Tigers hopeful of having key players back to boost survival hopes
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Half-back Austin and prolific try-scoring winger Eden both sat out last Friday's 34-4 home loss to St Helens, but have a decent chance of making a quick return to action according to head coach Danny Ward.
Austin picked up a hip injury and Eden was left nursing a muscle problem following the big win at Wakefield Trinity and they were sorely missed as the Tigers were well beaten by the reigning champions.
"We'll work hard on them in the treatment room and hopefully we can get them fixed up,” explained Ward.
"Blake didn't quite pull up as expected from the game last week. He had a bit of an issue in his hip that wasn't quite right.
"He wasn't going to be fully fit week so we made that call. Hopefully he'll be okay after a week's rest.
"Greg had a bit of muscle tightness and it wasn't worth the risk.
"He's a dynamic player and we don't want a less than 100 per cent Greg Eden."
Cas had five players missing from the team that beat Wakefield and suffered another injury in the Saints game with Will Tate suffering an ankle knock.
But Ward delivered some good news as Jack Broadbent could still play again this season with his shoulder injury not as bad as feared. Full-back Niall Evalds – whose move to Hull KR was confirmed last week – could also feature along with forward Nathan Massey, who suffered a knee problem.
On Evalds, Ward said: “We’ve not totally ruled out him playing again at the end of the year. But it’s obviously a big ask and we’re just taking it one week at a time with his recovery.
“There’s no pressure on Niall to get back on the field and do that. But it’s always good to have a send off, but we’ll just take that one week at a time.”
Ward saw some encouragement in his side’s display against St Helens despite the final score.
He added: “Obviously losing at home by 30 points is not acceptable for us as a club.
"We just gifted them too much. You can't give Saints the ball and field position because they're such a good side with strike all over the park and they hurt us. They showed why they're the world champions.
"But I told the boys at half-time that we were good defensively in a lot of patches and better than last week in a lot of areas. That might sound stupid when you're going in 30-0 down but that was the message to the boys.
"We asked the boys for some fight at half-time. We could make excuses all day long about players we'd lost or we could just roll our sleeves up and go to work. I was really pleased with how we dealt with that second half."