McDermott wary of wounded Tigers
Coach Brian McDermott has warned Leeds Rhinos to expect a backlash from Castleford Tigers in tomorrow’s Stobart Super League derby at the Probiz Coliseum.
The Tigers are smarting from a 46-4 home thrashing by Wigan Warriors, a third consecutive defeat which leaves them struggling near the foot of the table.
But McDermott insists there will be no complacency from the champions.
“Teams who lose at home like that are very dangerous the following week,” he said.
“But, when you add into the mix that it is Castleford versus Leeds at Wheldon Road and it’s on live TV, you have a dangerous combination for any team that goes there under-prepared.”
Acting Castleford head coach Stuart Donlan, who endured a difficult baptism against the Warriors, is hoping the prospect of a big derby will go some way to quickly turning around the club’s fortunes.
“It’s one tough one after another but I think the short turnaround might do us good because we just want to get out there and put right the wrongs from Sunday,” he said.
“It comes no bigger than Leeds. It’s something we’re looking forward to. There’s been an extra spring in the players’ steps. Whether that’s the Leeds factor or not, I’m not sure, but they seem really keen.”
Donlan remains in charge with Ian Millward on compassionate leave following the sudden death of his 19-year-old son Robbie but says the former St Helens boss could be back “in a week or so”.
“I spoke to Ian yesterday and was with him last night for a couple of hours,” Donlan said. “He’s a lot better. We spoke about rugby and general things. He cracked a few jokes which was good to hear.
“It’s still tough for him. Tomorrow is going to be a tough day with the funeral and next weekend would have been Robbie’s birthday so that’s another hurdle for him to get over.
“We’re not expecting him back immediately. I know he wants to come back but he says at the minute he’s not quite there mentally. He’ll be back maybe in a week or so.
“He’s slowly but surely coming to terms with it but it’s going to take him a long time.”
Exciting centre Joel Moon will return earlier than expected from a broken hand for Salford City Reds as they look to make it three consecutive wins at the expense of London Broncos.
The 23-year-old former Brisbane and New Zealand Warriors utility back suffered the injury in the early stages of his second appearance for the Reds but was this week given the all-clear by the specialist.
“It’s a boost for us,” said Salford coach Phil Veivers. “He’s probably back a week early.
“I was a bit disappointed for the kid because in his last game in Australia he broke an ankle and he worked pretty hard to get back to where he was at.”
The Broncos are one of just two teams looking for their first win of the season but Veivers is anticipating a difficult test at the Salford Community Stadium.
“They’re a tough outfit,” he said. “They’ve played all the top sides and I feel they’ve been a bit unlucky. We really need to be on our mettle if we are to get a win.”
London coach Rob Powell has identified the dangermen in the Reds’ ranks, highlighting the contributions of half-backs Matty Smith and Daniel Holdsworth, but is confident his side can match them.
“We know what Salford’s threats are,” he said. “They’ve got some good footballers - Matty Smith’s a good player, Daniel Holdsworth’s a good player and Luke Patten does some good stuff out the back for them.
“But those guys are people we think, if we defend well, we can handle. We think we’ve got enough strike in our team to hit them and we think we’re going to give them a good game.”