Castleford face drop at hands of Trinity

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The Independent Online

Wakefield have promised that they will not take their foot off the pedal to help their neighbours Castleford survive in Super League tonight.

Wakefield have promised that they will not take their foot off the pedal to help their neighbours Castleford survive in Super League tonight.

Cas have to win and hope that Widnes lose the match played simultaneously at Hull if they are to avoid relegation, but the Wakefield coach, Shane McNally, says that any ideas that his side, already installed in the play-offs for the first time, will go easy on them are well wide of the mark.

"We won't be resting any players, because we only have 19 fit and we just don't have that luxury," McNally said. "To read some of the things that have been written, there will only be one team turning up, but we're looking to go there and put in a good performance. If we do that and they win, fair enough."

One enforced change is that Steve Snitch will be missing through suspension, but Justin Ryder comes back into the side.

Castleford hope to field the same team that pulled back from the brink by winning with a late drop goal at Widnes last weekend. If they can win again, it could open the trapdoor for the Vikings, although they do have a better points difference by a margin of 23, as well as two extra competition points.

Widnes, likely to be without Willie Peters again, and possibly the stand-off Jules O'Neill, do not want to get into the business of fine calculations. "We shouldn't rely on what happens down the road," said their coaching adviser, Frank Endacott. "We'll do it ourselves."

The consequences of going down are severe, with Castleford dropping out of the top flight for the first time since they were admitted to the Rugby League in 1926 and Widnes going back into the National League they worked so hard to get out of three years ago. Either side would lose their better and younger players, with the vultures circling with interest in some of the talent that could be available.

The tension will be close to unbearable at both grounds. At the KC Stadium, Hull have no choice but to field a weakened team, with three of their most influential players - Jason Smith, Richard Horne and Paul King - all ruled out for the rest of the season.

King could be out for as long as six months for a knee reconstruction, which would not only rule him out of Great Britain's plans for the Tri-Nations, but for the start of next season as well. Peter Lupton and Andy Bailey come in for Hull, who, like Wakefield, stress that their aim is to go into the play-offs in some sort of form.

The National Leagues have already reached the play-off stage, with Doncaster's game at Hull KR having the potential to boil over after a stormy last meeting between the two sides.

Also in National League One, Oldham are at home to Featherstone, while the most intriguing game in National League Two sees the vastly improved Swinton entertain Workington.