Super League play-offs: Salford Red Devils vs Castleford Tigers talking points

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Salford vs Castleford
Super League
7:45pm Thursday 26th September

AJ Bell Stadium

We take a peek at the huge problems, hear from both camps and have the team news ahead of the play-off battle between Salford Red Devils and Castleford Tigers in the AJ Bell Stadium…
It is a frightening prospect for opponents to look at the possibility Jackson Hastings could create screens but this is precisely what the self-appraisal of the Salford talisman is.
Hastings’ first season at the AJ Bell Stadium has seen him win the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association’s player of the year accolade and eventually become the favorite to assert the Man of Steel award of Super League too.
Even Daryl Powell, head trainer of Thursday’s competitions, went on record calling him»the best player in the comp». On the other hand, the guy himself believes there continue to be areas of the game he needs to improve in.
«There has been moments this past season where I’ve been very proud of what I have managed to accomplish on the field and there were moments where I had wanted to have done more,» Hastings said.
«My game is nowhere near flawless. There is a few small things which I want to fix .»
In addition to being thankful for helping him rebuild his career after leaving NRL side Manly Sea Eagles beneath a cloud mid-season in 2018 to Salford, Hastings is grateful for his mother Megan’s support and advice.
Even the 23-year-old half-back will be hoping she will have the ability to fly to watch the climax of the Super League year and his time even though he hopes it moves much better than when she had been last on those beaches revealing her aid.
«She came last year to see me perform and I got red-carded the very first match,» Hastings remembered.
«She’s seen me play once in 2 years reside which is truly odd for our family, but I have two small sisters that need taking care of at home.
«Mum’s obviously disappointed that she can not watch all the time, but she gets updated by the fans. They blow off up her phone, she wakes up about 200 messages.»
There was little surprise after Castleford reached the Super League Grand Final for the first time at 2017, having finished top of this regular-season table also maintained the League Leaders’ Shield at this Super Eights’ end with a margin of 10 points.
But after edging past St Helens in the semi-finals and playing some scintillating, Daryl Powell’s negative came up short against Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford in a humbling defeat.
Fast forward two years and the Tigers are at the play-offs again, but few individuals are speaking about them after sneaking into the top five on points difference on the last night of the season.
At least couple of people were until last Thursday, when Castleford left by rapping outside Challenge Cup champions Warrington Wolves in the first elimination match using a 14-12 win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, the remainder of Super League sit up and take notice.
The Yorkshire representative in this season’s play-offs might have to journey across the Pennines again this week to confront Salford in another elimination game and could have to again to get a place at Old Trafford should they get through Thursday’s match.
Oliver Holmes, who played with his hometown club at that two years ago, agreed doing it the tough way in 2019 has gained Castleford in these knock-out matches and isn’t fazed by that prospect.
«Travelling over the Pennines to Lancashire is not always pleasant — clearly, because you are likely to Lancashire,» Holmes joked. «However, I believe we have dealt with it pretty well and we are going to need to take care of it well on Thursday.
«Much like Powelly has said, we are in better shape today looking forward to this play-offs than we were in 2017 — and I think he is perfect.
«We have had to deal with a great deal more, we are far more hardened and there’s a lot more steel than back then, so I reckon it is going to stand us in good stead.»
It’s honours so far in 2019, together with the teams winning one game through the Super League regular period.
Tries from Nathan Massey, Jordan Rankin — who kicked four goals too — Greg Eden and Jesse Sene-Lefao demonstrated enough to allow the Tigers to have a victory against the Red Devils at the Jungle at March.
Salford got back one Castleford in June, but with that guy Hastings setting up two more in the 26-16 success and helping inspire the hosts to victory by scoring a try.
Lee Mossop niall Evalds and Derrell Olpherts spanned together with Krisnan Inu kicking six goals to put the seal to the win too, to the Red Devils.
The victors on Thursday evening would only 1 step away from a place at the Grand Final, go 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 exact identical team as last week’s qualifying match off to Wigan, which saw despite enduring an 18-12 defeat them put.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell has made two modifications to his 19-man squad in the triumph over Warrington.
Nathan Massey and Greg Eden are back in emptiness, although Calum Turner and mike McMeeken are ruled out due to trauma.
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 group: 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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