Warrington face Castleford in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday night, while St Helens play Huddersfield and Wakefield take on Hull FC…
Charnley: Warrington will respond
Josh Charnley says Warrington are ready to make amends for the embarrassment of Headingley when they host Castleford.
The Wolves are reeling from a 36-0 rout by Leeds, which came just three weeks after they nilled champions St Helens, and Charnley admits it left the players in a state of shock.
“We were embarrassed,” he said. “We reviewed the game Saturday morning and, when we watched it, we couldn’t believe what we’d actually dished up.
“It’s mad. We’ve had two good games, Wigan and Saints, and it’s just slipped off since that.
“Luckily enough we’ve got a quick turnaround and can bounce back. We’ve had two good days training – everyone’s mindset is different and we’re focused a lot this week.
“Nobody’s sloping around with their bottom lip out. Everybody’s buzzing.”
While a third defeat in five matches leaves Warrington in mid-table, Castleford have the chance to go top after suffering just one defeat so far.
“They’re coming in hot,” said Charnley. “They’ve got some exciting players in the team that can make something out of nothing so it’s going to be a tough challenge for us.”
Warrington Wolves vs Castleford Tigers
March 6, 2020, 7:00pm
Warrington will give a late fitness test to former Castleford hooker Daryl Clark who injured a foot in the defeat at Leeds.
Wolves coach Steve Price has included half-back Dec Patton in his squad for the first time this season.
Castleford have lost prop Liam Watts with a finger injury but back-rower Alex Foster has been named in coach Daryl Powell’s 21-man squad for the first time since sustaining a knee injury 12 months ago.
Coote in contention for Saints
Lachlan Coote could make his first appearance for St Helens since the opening day of the season after recovering from a knee injury.
The Australian full-back has been sidelined for Saints’ last four matches and was sorely missed in their World Club Challenge defeat to Sydney Roosters.
He will undergo a late fitness test ahead of their home game against Huddersfield as St Helens seek a third successive Super League win.
“He’s a key player for us and he’s going to bring a lot to us this week and going forward, so we’ve just got to make sure we weigh up the risk against the reward,” Saints coach Kristian Woolf told the Liverpool Echo.
“We know what the reward is, but if there is any doubt whatsoever that he isn’t ready to play, then we won’t be taking the risk.”
Woolf is without makeshift centre James Bentley due to injury while back-up hooker Aaron Smith is suspended. Centre Josh Simm comes into Saints’ 21-man squad.
Huddersfield’s winning start to the season came to an abrupt end against Wigan last Sunday, the Giants crashing to a 42-10 home defeat.
With prop Suaia Matagi suspended, Giants coach Simon Woolford has called young forwards Oliver Watson and Jon Luke Kirby into his squad, while full-back Darnell McIntosh returns from injury.
“Huddersfield are a big pack, they have players there that are big and physical, and they have plenty of blokes there that I’m familiar with as well,” said Woolf.
“It’s going to be a great little challenge in the middle, and one that our blokes will be right up to.
“Aiden Sezer is a class player, he’s their best player and he’s shown his inclusion has certainly helped them in terms of their kicking game, their attack in general and the composure he’s brought to them.
“We’re going to have to be really good on how we defend him and overall it’s going to be a really good challenge for us.”
Hull FC seek morale-boosting win
What a difference a month makes for Hull FC and Lee Radford.
On February 7 they were celebrating a thrilling derby win over Hull KR, Radford’s 100th victory as head coach, as they began the season with back-to-back wns.
Since then things have gone steadily downhill. Three games played, three defeats, the latest against Catalans last Sunday where they squandered an 18-point lead.
Radford admits Hull’s confidence has taken a hit and he has been trying to build it back up ahead of their trip to the Mobile Rocket Stadium.
Hull FC vs Warrington Wolves
March 12, 2020, 7:00pm
“We’re working hard during the week to get something done and we’re working hard to turn losses into results” Radford told the Hull Daily Mail.
“This week is a great opportunity for us. It’s an old-school stadium and at this time of year the pitch can be like a cow pat, but a result there would be a shot in the arm for us.”
Radford has lost winger Adam Swift and utility back Jake Connor to injury but second-rower Josh Jones has overcome the illness that forced him to sit out Sunday’s defeat by Catalans.
There are call-ups for Connor Wynne and Joe Cator, who could make his debut.
Wakefield welcome back forward Tinirau Arona for his first game since last May after recovering from a knee injury in the only change to the team that won at Salford.
“I think both teams will be desperate for two different reasons,” Wakefield coach Chris Chester told the Wakefield Express. “Hull are coming in off the back of three straight losses.
“There had been a fair bit of hype around Hull FC this year with the players they have brought in and it was always going to take a little bit of time.
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