Warrington vs Castleford
7:45pm Thursday 19th September
Halliwell Jones Stadium
We take a peek at some critical issues and also have all the team news ahead of Thursday’s Super League elimination final between Warrington Wolves and Castleford Tigers…
Last month the Challenge Cup might have been secured, however Warrington enter the play-offs about the back of a dismal run of results at the league since the end of July.
The Wolves have won two of their past eight fittings in the contest, that has seen them slide out of being in contention to its League Leaders’ Shield to completing fourth.
Friday’s defeat away to Leeds Rhinos saw Salford Red Devils leapfrog them into third in the season’s final round, leaving Steve Price’s side confronting an elimination match in the home to Castleford initial up.
But the win over St Helens in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley revealed that the anglers could match.
That bad run of results is not playing using winger Josh Charnley placing it down often go through during a season either, on the minds of the squad.
“It is only at the wrong end of this year,” Charnley told Sky Sports. “Some teams also have it halfway or in the beginning, but ours has only come at the wrong moment.
“We’re totally focussed on performing the project, taking each week as it comes, and hopefully in four weeks we will be back at Old Trafford.”
To have an concept of the impact Liam Watts had created at 2019, you look at his haul from the club awards time.
The prop chose up Castleford’s player of the year, players’ player of the year and fans’ player of the year prizes, the latter of these seeing him voted as winner.
Watts was awarded the newest Immortals Award, this year has been voted by Castleford greats Arthur Atkinson, Alan Hardisty, Keith Hepworth, Mal Reilly and John Joyner.
The 29-year-old has captured the attention away from the Mend-A-Hose Jungle too, making a place at the Super League Dream Team, being one of the contenders to the Man of Steel award when the voting was still public and earning a call-up to the England Performance Squad.
Watts continues to lead Castleford’s statistics in terms of tackles and metres emphasising his importance to the team at both defence and attack, together with earning offloads than any other player in Super League this year.
Although the forwards is very likely to play a role in whether the Tigers will realise hopes of repeating their 2017 Grand Final appearance and getting on a run at the play-offs warrington’s forwards will be wary of the danger Watts poses.
Head coach Daryl Powell is defined to have his choices in the Castleford front row weakened with this game and a Possible match following Jesse Sene-Lefao was banned for two games
Sene-Lefao was given the suspension following his red card in last Friday defeat to Wigan Warriors for going in to the Oliver Partington of the house side together along with his knees.
Powell is currently mulling whether to appeal the ban in a bid to clean the prior Samoa global for Thursday’s excursion but conceded he’ll be a big miss to the Tigers.
“We will have a chat about what we’re going to perform, but obviously it’s a bit of a setback for us if he is going to miss the game,” Powell explained. “Jesse was playing fairly well for us”
Warrington are with recent recruit Matty Smith being suspended for the elimination after being found guilty of dangerous contact in the 26-4 loss away to Leeds because of a ban as well, no one of the squad members.
Thursday’s play-off experience marks the fourth period Castleford and Warrington have fulfilled in 2019, together with the hosts with the advantage in the head to go.
Two attempts from Jake Mamo put the Wolves in the Halliwell Jones Stadium in March on their way to victory, with Jack Hughes and Ben Murdoch-Masila crossing to secure a 24-10 win and also condemn the Tigers to their first defeat of the year.
A similar outcome was created by the meeting in the Mend-A-Hose Jungle at the start of May, together with the visitors appearing 26-14 victors thanks to two tries from Toby King, and one apiece for Mike Cooper and Ben Currie.
When the groups reconvened triumphing 27-18 with tries from Greg Minikin James Clare, Jake Trueman and Tuoyo Egodo but the tables turned on Warrington.
Warrington head mentor Cost has made two changes in the group that were beaten away to Leeds last Friday to his 19-man squad.
Lama Tasi and harvey Livett equally return with the Smith along with Sitaleki Akaoula, to the team that the 2 players.
Sene-Lefao is not contained in Castleford’s initial group, but might play a part if any appeal against his suspension is equally powerful.
Nathan Massey drops from Powell’s 19 as well.
Warrington Wolves 19-man group: Blake Austin, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Jake Mamo, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Lama Tasi, Ben Westwood
Castleford Tigers 19-man squad: Cheyse Blair, James Clare, Chris Clarkson, Matt Cook, Jamie Ellis, Oliver Holmes, Will Maher, Peter Mata’utia, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Jacques O’Neill, Jordan Rankin, Daniel Smith, Jake Trueman, Calum Turner, Liam Watts
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