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Wigan Warriors vs Castleford Tigers talking points and team news

Wigan Warriors vs Castleford Tigers talking points and team news

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What is being said and team news ahead of Thursday’s Betfred Super League clash between Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers, live on Sky Sports !

Card concerns for coaches
One of the biggest talking points from the opening five rounds of the 2022 Super League season has been the number of cards and length of suspensions handed out following the RFL’s decision to take a more stringent approach to foul play, particularly with regards to incidents which present a danger of head injuries.

Both of the teams involved in Thursdays game live on Sky Sports, Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers, have been affected by that, with the Warriors Kaide Ellis being handed a five-game ban for what was described in the disciplinary report as ‘Punching – sustained and repeated or violent’ following his red card in the 28-0 defeat to Catalans Dragons.

Castleford’s 36-24 defeat to Huddersfield Giants on Saturday saw four yellow cards – two on either side and three of which were for late tackles handed out too, and all 12 Super League coaches will be joining a call with RFL head of legal Robert Hicks to discuss the issue on Wednesday.

We were told a week before the season started that we’re going from zero to 100, we’re going from what was a slap on the wrist last year to a Grade D and four or five games, Tigers head coach Lee Radford said. Communication would have been key there.

The influence they’re having on the game is significant. If you’re a neutral, it’s great watching but we’re promoting blokes to roll all over the floor now when there’s any contact with the head.

The incident involving Ellis in Perpignan also saw Catalans Jordan Dezaria sent off as well, later being banned for three matches, and Wigan head coach Matt Peet hopes to get clarity from the governing body over what is expected of the players.

Once everyone has got clear direction we can work with the players, Peet said. But as long as we know there is consistency, speaking on behalf of our club, we’ll work within the parameters given.

Warriors and Tigers aiming to bounce back
That defeat away to Catalans brought to an end Wigan’s unbeaten start to the season which had seen rookie head coach Peet honoured with Super League’s coach of the month accolade for February.

It came on the back of a narrow 29-28 win over the competition’s other French team, Toulouse Olympique, with the Warriors spending 10 days in the South of France to allow everyone to benefit from time together on and off the pitch.

Peet is now hoping to see the lessons learnt from that trip and the loss to the Dragons put into practice as they seek to rebound against the Tigers.

I guess we’ll find out going forwards, Peet said. We didn’t get the performances we wanted, and we were working really hard to get those, and we hope for better.

We should have picked up things, we should have improvement in us, but hopefully the work we got done in France will stand us in good stead on and off the field.

Radford, meanwhile, was left to rue a poor start for his side on their trip to Huddersfield last Saturday which ultimately left them with too much to do as they mounted something of a comeback in the second half.

We went from major disappointment at half-time to thinking we were in with a chance, but it ultimately came down to that first 40 minutes, Radford, whose side have now lost four of their first five matches of the season, said.

Our contact areas were really poor in the first 40 minutes. We never gave in, they kept swinging, and it could easily have swung either way.

Team news
Ethan Havard and Sam Halsall return to Wigans 21 man squad for this match, with Brad Singleton being suspended for two matches along with Ellis ban following the defeat to Catalans.

Castleford have George Griffin and Jordan Turner available again after spells on the sidelines with injuries, while Bureta Faraimo comes back into contention after completing a two-match suspension.

Wigan Warriors: Jake Bibby, Zak Hardaker, Liam Marshall, Cade Cust, Tommy Leuluai, Sam Powell, Patrick Mago, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, John Bateman, Morgan Smithies, Harry Smith, Oliver Partington, Ethan Havard, Liam Byrne, Kai Pearce-Paul, Joe Shorrocks, Jai Field, Abbas Miski, Sam Halsall, Brad O’Neill.

Castleford Tigers: Derrell Olpherts, Jake Mamo, Bureta Faraimo, Jake Trueman, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, George Lawler, Kenny Edwards, Joe Westerman, George Griffin, Mahe Fonua, Tyla Hepi, James Clare, Alex Sutcliffe, Daniel Smith, Greg Eden, Cheyse Blair, Suaia Matagi, Brad Martin, Gareth O’Brien, Cain Robb.