‘Lucky’ Castleford Tigers urged to make most of Super League top-six let-off

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell says his fortunate side have to make the most of their top-six reprieve.

They face Salford Red Devils at Magic Weekend on Saturday desperate to make up for Monday’s abject 22-0 home loss to Wigan Warriors.

That was their first defeat in five games but they have clung on to sixth spot after play-off rivals Hull FC and Hull KR both failed to beat lower opposition on the same day.

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Leeds Rhinos are still in touching distance, too, in fifth having also suffered a surprise defeat at Wakefield Trinity.

“It was a bit of fortune,” admitted Powell.

“Wigan were always going to be desperate against us but we turned in our worst performance for a fair while.

“But how often do Leeds beat Wakefield at Wakefield? Hull came up against a really good Salford performance and, with Huddersfield knocking Hull KR over as well, it was incredible really.

“We were lucky. But that’s the way it is.

MAKE IT COUNT: Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell Picture by Paul Currie/SWpix.com

“Everyone is still playing; rugby league players don’t give up at any point.

“Wherever you are in the competition you have to aim up and we’ve a great opportunity now for us with sixth.

“It’s about what we do from here. We have to get our heads back together and make sure we get our form where it needs to be.

“We were playing exceptional rugby league just a couple of weeks ago.

INJURY BOOST: Castleford Tigers' Paul McShane could be back in action for Magic Weekend Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

“We just need to move on quickly.”

Crucially, Powell says Man of Steel Paul McShane has a chance of returning for the game at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

The England hooker missed the Wigan defeat due to an abdominal injury suffered in last Thursday’s win at Hull.

It was feared it could be a serious issue but Tigers have received positive news and McShane hopes to feature.

Powell said: “He had a scan yesterday. It’s not too bad.

“He’s had a bit of a run today and we’ll check him again in a couple of days time.

“We’re not ruling him out.

“Potentially he would play but we’re not 100 per cent certain at this point.

“It’s just bruising but it’s in a really sore area so he’s got to get his head around that to start with and make sure he’s comfortable with it.”

In-form winger Greg Eden, though, is out with a hamstring tear which Castleford are waiting to assess further.

Salford will be without ex-Leeds prop Jack Ormondroyd (concussion).