Super League play-offs: Salford Red Devils vs Castleford Tigers talking points
Salford vs Castleford
7:45pm Thursday 26th September
AJ Bell Stadium
We have a look at the huge issues, hear from both camps and have the team news before the play-off battle between Salford Red Devils and Castleford Tigers at the AJ Bell Stadium…
It is a frightening potential for opponents to contemplate the potential Jackson Hastings could create screens that are better than those he has so much in 2019, but that is precisely what the self-appraisal of the Salford talisman is.
Hastings’ first season in the AJ Bell Stadium has seen him eventually become the favourite to assert Super League’s Man of Steel award and win the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association’s player of the year accolade.
Much Daryl Powell, head coach Thursday’s competitions, went on record as calling him”the best player in the comp”. However, the man himself believes there are areas of the game he wants to boost in.
“There has been moments this past year where I have been very proud of what I have managed to attain on the area and there were moments where I had liked to have done more,” Hastings said.
“My sport is nowhere near flawless. There’s a couple of little things that I want to fix .”
In addition to being thankful to allow him rebuild his career after departing NRL side Manly Sea Eagles under a cloud mid-season at 2018 to Salford, Hastings is grateful for guidance and the support of his mother Megan.
Even the 23-year-old half-back is hoping she will have the ability to fly over to watch the climax of his period and the Super League season with Salford, even though he hopes it moves when she was last on these shores showing her service.
“She came last year to watch me play and I have red-carded the very first match,” Hastings recalled.
“She’s seen me play in two years reside which is really uncommon for our family, but I have two small sisters that need caring for at home.
“Mum’s clearly frustrated that she can not observe all the time, but she gets upgraded by the lovers. They blow her phone up, she wakes up about 200 messages”
There was little shock if Castleford attained the Super League Grand Final with finished top of this regular-season table and claimed the League Leaders’ Shield in the end of the Super Eights with a margin of 10 points.
However, after playing some scintillating and edging beyond St Helens at the semi-finals, Daryl Powell’s negative came up short against Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford in a humbling conquer.
Fast forward two decades and the Tigers are from the after sneaking on points difference on the final night of the season yet few people are speaking about these.
At least couple of people were before Thursday, when Castleford made by knocking outside Challenge Cup winners Warrington Wolves at the first elimination match using a win in the Halliwell Jones Stadium the rest of Super League sit up and take notice.
The sole Yorkshire representative in this season’s play-offs might need to travel across the Pennines again to confront Salford in a second elimination match and would need to again for a place at Old Trafford should they get through Thursday’s match.
Oliver Holmes, who played with his hometown club at that last two years agreed with Powell’s assessment doing it the hard way in 2019 has benefitted Castleford in those matches and is not fazed by that prospect.
“flying across the Pennines into Lancashire is not always pleasant – obviously, because you are likely to Lancashire,” Holmes joked. “But I think we’ve dealt with it pretty well and we’re going to need to manage it very well again on Thursday.
“Much like Powelly has said, we’re in better shape today excited about the play-offs than we had been in 2017 – and now I think he’s perfect.
“We have had to deal with a lot more, we are far more hardened and there’s a lot more steel than back then, so I guess it is going to stand us in good stead.”
It is honours thus much in 2019, with the teams winning one match apiece during the Super League regular period.
Tries in Nathan Massey, Jordan Rankin – who kicked four goals too – Jesse Sene-Lefao and Greg Eden demonstrated sufficient for the Tigers to take a 24-20 victory against the Red Devils at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle in March.
Salford got one back on Castleford at June, but with that guy Hastings setting up two more in the 26-16 success and helping propel the hosts to victory by scoring a try.
Lee Mossop niall Evalds and Derrell Olpherts spanned with Krisnan Inu kicking six goals to put the seal too, for the Red Devils.
Even the victors on Thursday evening will probably only 1 step away from a spot at the Grand Final, go on to face the loser of Friday’s showdown between St Helens and Wigan Warriors the following week.
Salford head coach Ian Watson has stuck using the identical group as last week’s qualifying game away to Wigan, which watched despite having an 18-12 beat them placed.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell has made two modifications to his squad out of the win over Warrington.
Calum Turner and mike McMeeken are ruled out because of injury, but Nathan Massey and Greg Eden are coming back in emptiness.
Salford Red Devils 19-man group: Niall Evalds, Kris Welham, Jake Bibby, Lee Mossop, Adam Wood, Gil Dudson, Josh Jones, George Griffin, Mark Flanagan, Joey Lussick, Adam Walker, Greg Burke, Tyrone McCarthy, Logan Tomkins, Ken Sio, Krisnan Inu, Ryan Lannon, Tui Lolohea, Jackson Hastings
Castleford Tigers 19-man squad: Cheyse Blair, James Clare, Chris Clarkson, Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Jamie Ellis, Oliver Holmes, Will Maher, Nathan Massey, Peter Mata’utia, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Jacques O’Neill, Jordan Rankin, Daniel Smith, Jake Trueman, Liam Watts
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