Castleford might have been drawn in the only all-Super League tie in this weekend's fourth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup, but they say they are free to give it their best shot. Two years ago, Cas rested a number of first-teamers and lost to Widnes; then they were far more concerned about the threat of relegation. Without that spectre at the feast this year, they go to Harlequins today with a very different attitude.
"Two years ago we rested everyone because of where we were," said their coach, Terry Matterson. "We haven't got the ideal draw, but this competition is special and we're going to give it a good crack." Matterson recalls Michael Korkidas after dropping him for the first time against Hull last week.
In today's other match, Bradford, without Paul Deacon, should still be too strong for Toulouse.
The best chance of a National League side beating Super League opposition tomorrow is at Salford, where injury-hit Wakefield are the visitors. Salford have retained a full-time squad and are unbeaten in National League One, but the Wildcats are coached by a genuine Cup specialist in John Kear and will not be taking the competition lightly.
Warrington lost to National League opposition at Hull KR two years ago and will find Leigh eager to upset them today. The Super League side will have Lee Briers back after hamstring trouble but Adrian Morley is doubtful with a thigh strain.
Huddersfield could be vulnerable at Halifax, but last year's two finalists should not be unduly worried. The holders, St Helens, will rest a number of players against the London Skolars and the Catalan Dragons should be too good for Featherstone. Another French side, Pia, are at Wigan, who have been in contract talks this week with their coach, Brian Noble.
"You've got to have some pretty serious reasons to want to leave a club of Wigan's stature," he said. "There are some really good things happening at the club and when you are building the bridge, it would be nice to see it painted."
The Melbourne Storm coach, Craig Bellamy, has agreed a contract to keep him at the club until 2013. That ends any prospect of him moving to the Brisbane Broncos and possibly leaves that job open for St Helens' Daniel Anderson.
Leeds will be without Gareth Ellis for three weeks, thanks to a broken thumb.Reuse content