RECOVERING Brett Ferres will seek out Rangi Chase “face-to-face” tonight to finally speak to his former colleague properly about the vile tackle that put the Huddersfield Giants star out of action until July.
The England second-row admits he still does not know how he will react when the meeting occurs with a player with whom he spent four years together at Castleford Tigers and also featured alongside for his country at the 2013 World Cup.
He was left in agony after Chase enacted an illegal “cannonball” tackle on him during Salford Red Devils’ 18-12 win at Huddersfield on Good Friday.
The horror challenge saw the 2011 Man of Steel receive a seven-game ban and left his erstwhile team-mate facing three months on the sidelines with a badly damaged ankle.
It means neither will be on the pitch tonight when the clubs reunite – Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson has told his squad to exact revenge in the televised clash – but there could be words between them elsewhere in the AJ Bell Stadium.
Talking for the first time publicly about the April 3 incident, which received no actual punishment by referee James Child, Ferres told The Yorkshire Post: “He (Chase) is a mate of mine.
“We played a few years together at Cas and with England. He texted me straight away afterwards as soon as I got my phone and approached me in the bar, too, apologising numerous times.
“I didn’t know what to say back. I just said I’d have a look at the incident later. I did and it was serious; he put me in a position where he could potentially have ended my career.
“It was a bad tackle and something you don’t want on your conscience. I said I’d speak to him about it at another time.
“He came back and apologised again, told me he never intended to hurt me but I thought ‘so what?’ I can see his side of it – he’s gone to complete the tackle – but I know when I do these things I don’t take the opportunity to foul someone in a vulnerable position. And I was.”
Ferres was stood, motionless, held up by two Salford defenders when stand-off Chase dived low at his prone standing leg.
Ferres, who was banned himself for five games last year for a dangerous lift on St Helens’ Jonny Lomax, said: “To be fair to him, he showed remorse straight afterwards but still, it is not good.
“I hope to go to the game Friday and see him face-to-face. I’ve thought about ringing him.
“I’ve been banned myself and it’s not a nice place. I don’t hold a grudge – I’m not that type of guy.
“I won’t look to retaliate and do something back to him. I’ll speak to him and deal with it in my way.
“I’ll let him know I’m not happy with it and how I don’t think that sort of rubbish should happen – and if it does happen again it might be a different story the way I react.”
Anderson admits to being furious still about Chase’s tackle – he told disciplinary chiefs to “throw the book” at the 29-year-old – and says his side “owe them one” this evening as sixth-placed Giants take on opponents directly below them.
Ferres concurred: “I think as a team we owe them for a few different incidents. Danny Brough got ‘smoked’ off the ball last year; they’ve cracked our half-backs pretty late a few times and it seems to be a bit of a habit.
“I’m quite disappointed by that. It’s something that came in to the competition with an Australian coach and a couple of clubs now see it as appropriate.
“But that sort of tactic should not be going on. You don’t expect cheap shots like that.”
On his injury, Ferres, 29, said: “It’s certainly improved and I didn’t need an op’ in the end – I’ve been told I’m a very lucky boy and have very flexible joints.
“There’s still some pretty bad damage done to the ligaments but it’s not as serious as it could have been.
“I’ll still be out for three months – with an operation it would have been four – and it’s still a decent stretch.
“It was tough to take at the time but I’ve really got my head down and worked hard to try get back as well as possible.
“It’s gutting to miss such a big part of the season but – mentally and physically – it will help me.
“I’ve lost some weight and I do feel fitter and stronger.”