LARNE PATRICK is looking to make sure his second Castleford Tigers appearance is far more successful than his first.
Not only did the combative forward endure an embarrassing 58-16 home defeat to Hull KR on debut but he also suffered an ankle injury that then kept him out of last week’s defeat against St Helens.
It was not the start to his Castleford career he had envisaged after moving from Huddersfield Giants on loan until the end of the season.
However, the 27-year-old hopes to start correcting that in tomorrow’s televised Challenge Cup sixth round tie when Salford Red Devils arrive at Wheldon Road.
“That debut was certainly one to forget for all the wrong reasons,” Patrick conceded to The Yorkshire Post.
“I played about 50 minutes but it was a big loss, I rolled my ankle pretty bad and had to miss the next match as well.
“I should be okay for Salford, though, and I just want to get out there and hopefully get us a win.”
Castleford, who have lost their last three games under a crippling injury list, will need Patrick’s explosive power especially given they are now without Andy Lynch, their influential prop who broke his leg against Saints.
“Lynchy’s a massive loss for us,” he said, about the 36-year-old veteran, who has had surgery and will miss up to three months of action.
“He really leads by example on the field, more with his actions than words, and does some big minutes.
“He’s a great player and we’ll all have to step up a little bit extra now to make up for him being missing especially against Salford.
“They may have had six points deducted for salary cap breaches but they’re a team who have improved this year and they’ll be a tough challenge.
“They obviously have Justin Carney who gets them rolling forward from the wing and some really good outside backs.
“But I do think this week it’s down to us as a pack to get on top of their forwards and lay a platform.”
Castleford reached the final two years ago but Patrick has never got that far in the famous competition although he was at Huddersfield when they faced Warrington at Wembley in 2009.
“I was only a young kid back then,” he recalled.
“I trained with the squad in the build-up to it and went down with them but wasn’t involved in the game.
“Cas have been there recently and know what it’s all about.
“I certainly think Cas have got the team to get there again even if we are struggling with injuries at the moment.
“I’m just looking forward to getting back on track and playing again.”
Patrick had hoped to go up against former Huddersfield colleagues Tommy Lee and Josh Griffin but neither will play.
Salford captain Lee is injured while fellow hooker Logan Tomkins is suspended so the visitors, who won at Wheldon Road earlier in the season, give a debut to 19-year-old rake Matt Wilkinson.
They will also see Samoan international Daniel Vidot finally make his bow, the giant winger who joined from Brisbane Broncos during the winter but sustained a shoulder injury in training and has spent the first three months of the season recovering from surgery.
Castleford, meanwhile, are boosted by the return of creative full-back Luke Dorn, the veteran Australian who played for Salford in 2007 and has missed the last eight Tigers games with a hamstring injury.
Another former Salford player, prop Ryan Boyle, has been included in the 19-man squad while centre Jake Webster and forward Junior Moors, who were late withdrawals from the team that lost to Saints, are also set for returns.