Carney targets struggling Saints
Castleford Tigers’ blockbusting winger Justin Carney is aiming to take his frustration out on struggling St Helens when he makes his return from a third ban of the season tomorrow.
The powerfully-built Australian, who prefers to go through defenders rather than around them, agreed to improve his tackling technique after missing seven matches of his debut Super League season through suspension but insists he will not be changing his running style.
"I didn't think I was a dirty player - at all - and I'm not going to change the way that I play, it's just my tackling technique that I have to fix up," Carney said.
"It's been a rollercoaster this year with suspensions but I've just got to put my head down and concentrate on my game.
"When I first started I got into a bit of trouble and it's kind of crept back into my game. I've just got to wipe it out completely. It's just stupid things like that that can let the side down."
The Tigers have won their last two matches, with replacement James Clare scoring tries in both, and Carney feared it might be difficult to force his way back into a side rejuvenated since the arrival of new coach Daryl Powell.
"I am pretty surprised actually that I am back in," he said. "That's why I'm probably a bit more nervous than usual - because the boys have been performing good without me - but that's a good thing I think.
"It's been very frustrating, not so much in the last couple of weeks because we've been getting wins, but when we haven't been performing as well as we could, it was very frustrating being on the sidelines. I felt a bit responsible for letting the side down."
Powell has been delighted with the contribution of Clare but says it was an easy decision to recall Carney, who has scored 11 tries in his 13 starts since joining the club from Sydney Roosters.
"He's a great player to bring back," Powell said. "It's tough on James Clare but he (Carney) is just one of those players you'd have in your team if you had an opportunity."
While Castleford's fortunes are on the up as they chase a fourth successive home win, St Helens have been placed on a warning by chairman Eamonn McManus after last Friday's home defeat by Hull KR left them in danger of missing out on the play-offs.
However, Powell says there is no danger of his side being lulled into a false sense of security by talk of a crisis at Langtree Park.
"Everybody is talking about St Helens' doom and gloom but we can't get wrapped up in that," he said.
"They've got some of their better players back now so they're going to be a challenge for us.
"The key for us is to come up with another consistent effort and that's been a pretty big challenge for us in recent times."
Saints have won their last 10 meetings with the Tigers going back to April 2008.
Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis is calling on his players to get tough as they seek to halt a three-match losing run at the expense of third-placed Huddersfield Giants at the KC Stadium.
"When you're losing, you've just got to find a way to win ugly, to do it in a way that's not as flash or as great to watch as it was a month ago," Ellis said.
"I'm sure if we can do that, then the confidence will return but we've got to be prepared to do it tough and I'm not sure we've been prepared to do that over the past couple of weeks."
Hull KR are hoping a sickness bug eases in time for their match against Salford City Reds at MS3 Craven Park tomorrow.
Seven players have been affected by the bug that ruled Rhys Lovegrove and Liam Salter out of last week's win at St Helens.
Rovers are chasing a fifth successive win for the first time since 2009, when they finished fourth.