Castleford Tigers’ Jake Trueman fighting fit for Wigan Warriors meeting

THANKFULLY, there were no late dramas in yesterday’s Captain’s Run for Castleford Tigers stand-off Jake Trueman.

FIT AGAIN: Castleford Tigers Jake Trueman. Picture: Tony Johnson.

He successfully negotiated the session and, therefore, should be fine to resume action against Wigan Warriors today.

It was a different story at the same time before their last game against St Helens when he pulled out on the morning of the fixture a fortnight ago.

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Trueman recalled: “I’m not sure what really happened.

“I think I just sort of jarred my back in training on the day before the game and then the next day I woke up and I could hardly move it.

“It eased off through the week and I’m good to go now. But it was really frustrating at the time.”

Ironically, Castleford were supposed to be without a game this weekend, adding to the frustrations of Trueman and the club who were sat doing nothing last weekend, too, after their Challenge Cup tie was postponed due to the Covid outbreak at sixth round opponents Hull FC.

In this instance, though, they have benefitted from such a scare; this week’s positive tests at Catalans Dragons meant the West Yorkshire club - originally scheduled to play Toronto Wolfpack - have been drafted in to face Wigan instead.

ATTACK: Jake Trueman can provide the spark for Castleford's attack. Picture: Tony Johnson.

“That’s one of the positives, if there can be one, of Toronto not now being in Super League,” added Trueman, the fact that there is always a side waiting in the wings now that Super League is an 11-club competition.

“That free team probably will be needed won’t it now with all the people and teams that have now been affected by coronavirus.

“We’d not played for so long - five months - then we came back, had one match against Catalans, and then that happened.

“We were supposed to play Hull in Super League but that got changed to Saints and then we saw the Hull Cup game get postponed last week.

“We’re all just glad to get a game this weekend even though it was pretty late when we found out. We got told Tuesday night and we’ve had a couple of sessions and done quite a lot of video.

“We pretty much know how Wigan play, though, and nothing to much has changed for them.”

Wigan, who have Thomas Leuluai returning for his 300th Super League appearance, have beaten Wakefield Trinity and Leeds Rhinos since their return.

Trueman’s battle with Jackson Hastings, the reigning Man of Steel and fellow Great Britain tourist, should be an intriguing one at Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“It was good being on tour with him,” he said, recalling last autumn’s Lions trip around parts of the southern hemisphere.

“I get along with Jackson. He’s a good player and I enjoyed training with him.

“The two to watch out for at Wigan are probably him and (Bevan) French; both are massive players.

“Everything comes through Jackson and then French has that little bit of off the cuff about him.

“If you give either too much space they will hurt you.

“But we need a win. With the new play-off system of a top-four rather than a top-five, we don’t want to be drifting out and getting too many points behind that pack.”

In fairness, after a poor 40-14 defeat to Catalans, Castleford came close to victory against at Saints and it would have been interesting to see how events would have unfolded had Trueman been fit.

Powell’s side produced an excellent performance against the reigning champions, limiting Saints to only a handful of clear chances and showing tremendous spirit in defence.

It was not until Theo Fages’ 77th minute try that their resistance was finally broken and the hosts edged home to a 10-0 success.

In attack, with Trueman’s craft, organising skills and kicking game, it could have been different.

Instead, hooker Paul McShane needed to switch from hooker as they were forced into that late reshuffle.

McShane will revert to No9 today and Trueman, 21, said: “I think he’s looking forward to that.

“He doesn’t mind doing half every now and again but he definitely prefers nine.”

With more balance to their team, Castleford will hope to start scoring points again; they have not done so since opening up a 14-0 lead in the 15th minute of that game against Catalans.