Daryl Powell to stick with Joel Monaghan for Friday’s clash with Huddersfield

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has admitted that winger Greg Minikin is unlikely to be fit for Friday’s clash against Huddersfield.

Minikin suffered a shoulder injury in the act of scoring during the Tigers’ defeat to Salford earlier this month – with former Australia international Joel Monaghan replacing him for the win against Catalans on Sunday.

And Powell said that he’s likely to err on the side of caution and give Minikin another week to return to full fitness.

“I think it’s doubtful at the moment from what I’m being told,” he said of Minikin’s fitness.

“He’s still a bit sore with his shoulder so we’re not going to risk him, and I thought Joel Monaghan did a pretty good job at the weekend anyway. He’ll stay in there again; Greg might surprise me and come flying back but I doubt it. Other than that we’re not too bad; we’re on a shorter turnaround so that cause us a bit of trouble but we’ll see later in the week.”

However, Powell did admit he could make one change in the shape of forward Oliver Holmes. He is yet to feature this season due to injury but, after being included in his 19-man squad for the Catalans game, Powell hinted that he may introduce Holmes this Friday.

“I’ve got Oliver Holmes available,” he said.

“He was in the squad last week but he was never going to play, I just wanted to get him back into it – but he’ll be close. I’ll make a judgement call on him later on the week. Larne Patrick is going to be a while but apart from that, everyone else is doing well.”

And Powell admitted that he was left delighted by his side’s response to going behind against the Dragons last week – saying their reaction produced some of the best defensive work he’s known during his time at the Tigers.

He said: “They got after us in the middle of the field and we didn’t handle it well but I thought we responded well.

“We caused them a lot of trouble and by half-time we’d got ourselves a lead, which was great. Some of the defensive stuff we did in the second half was some of the best I’ve seen since I came to the club. I thought Adam Milner and Paul McShane in particular were outstanding in leading the defensive line.”