Davis being relied on to rescue Castleford cause

Castleford need to win at Huddersfield today if they are to have a realistic chance of avoiding Super League relegation. And to have brought back Brad Davis in mid-season at the age of 36 now looks like a masterstroke. Where it might have looked like a desperate manoeuvre, there have been times, notably in his sparkling performance against Widnes last month, when he has looked capable of rescuing them.

There are those who believe this is an indictment of the British game - that a struggling side can actually be improved by bringing in a veteran Australian back from France - but Davis is something of a special case.

His career has been an unusual one. A late developer in his homeland, he came to Britain virtually as a backpacker to play for the ill-fated Nottingham club. His British career began in earnest at York, but it was at Cas in his first stint that he established himself as a top-flight player.

Almost four years ago, he decided that he was too old and shipped himself off to Wakefield. This season, different circumstances have radically changed perceptions.

Davis knows he could not play a full season in Super League at his age. The theory is that he has enough left in the tank for the games that matter and Castleford need him to produce one of his specials at Huddersfield today.

"It's a game we must win," he says. With London now effectively out of reach, Cas have to concentrate on getting within striking distance of Widnes, their opponents once more in the penultimate Super League game of the season.

"We need to get within two points of Widnes so that the game puts them under pressure," says Davis.

It is hard to see how they can do that without victory at the Galpharm Stadium today; defeat would mean that the unthinkable humiliation of Castleford outside the top division for the first time will be all too real.

Davis's own future lies in coaching. He already has some experience in that area with his French club, Villeneuve, to whom he has the option of returning next season. Alternatively, he could be of great interest to his old club, York, or there could be a role for him at Castleford, in one division or the other.

He has already had some input on the training field at The Jungle. "I haven't done too much, because I still have a challenge in front of me as a player - and it's a very big challenge.'' That goes for him and all his team-mates at Huddersfield this afternoon. Castleford need some inspiration and their old favourite has shown that he can still provide it.

In Friday night's matches, London Broncos tasted success at St Helens, 28-22, the defeat being Saints' fourth in their last five games. Bradford claimed third place outright as they moved within a point of Hull with a 38-12 victory over top-six rivals Wigan at Odsal.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?