Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell admitted, in the aftermath of Sunday’s Super League victory over London Broncos, that it seems strange to be able to focus at last on Sunday’s Challenge Cup-tie against Widnes at a sold out Leigh Sports Village.
“It seems an age since we beat Wigan in the quarter-finals, and it’s good to be able to talk properly at last about the semi-final with Widnes,” said Powell, who has preferred to focus on his side’s forthcoming league games since the Tigers booked a spot in the semi-finals.
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“We’re injury free from the London game, which is good news, although we have the long-term injury to Grant Millington, of course.”
The Tigers were rocked by the news that Millington could miss up to six weeks of action with a serious knee injury.
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“Grant has got a medial cruciate ligament injury, so that will rule him out for a few weeks – including the semi-final. It’s a challenge to our medical staff to get him back as soon as they can,” said Powell.
“He’s had a scan and it’s a Grade 2 injury, which is potentially between five and six weeks. He’s an experienced pro who knows his body, so hopefully he’ll be able to get back as soon as he can.”
At this stage the Tigers will also be without Weller Hauraki, who was suspended for two matches last week for using his knee in the tackle against Hull FC’s Jordan Abdull.
The Tigers have lodged an appeal that will be heard on Tuesday, however, so Hauraki still has a chance of playing in the semi-final.
“We can now focus on Widnes, and I’m sure they will be focusing on us,” added Powell.
“We maybe lost our way a little after beating Wigan, but we’ve got ourselves back on course, coming out of some tight games with a draw at Leeds and a hard-earned win at Hull.”