Matterson vows to continue after loss of finger

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The Independent Online

The Castleford coach, Terry Matterson, intends to carry on regardless despite the loss of a finger in an horrific training ground accident.

Matterson was preparing his squad for the weekend's friendly against the Catalan Dragons when he scaled a steel fence to retrieve a ball. He caught his wedding ring on a spike on top and, without realising it, severed the finger as he jumped down. "It was a shock," he said with some understatement. "We were looking around for the finger on the field and couldn't find it.

"I saw a ball by a tree the other side of the fence and went to retrieve it but it was higher than I thought and I had to put my hand on to push myself off. I got down and threw the ball back but then looked down and the finger was gone. It was a bit of a blur."

Castleford staff eventually detached it from the fence and took it, packed in ice, to the hospital with Matterson, but doctors were unable to re-attach it. He still took charge of the team for the game in Perpignan, although he left some duties to his assistant, Andy Hay.

Matterson has seen a specialist to determine whether he needs surgery, but was matter-of-fact yesterday. "A lot of worse things can happen to you in life," he said. "It's my left hand and I'm right-handed. I was playing table tennis with the boys afterwards."

The Warrington and former England coach, Tony Smith, has called on Super League to ditch the safety-first approach in the coming season. "At times, it got a bit conservative last year," he said. "I'd like to see more flamboyance and risk-taking."

Smith promised that his Warrington side, strengthened by the signings of Richie Myler, Ryan Atkins and David Solomona, will be at the forefront of any move to a more expansive style. Myler marked his Wolves debut by scoring four tries in the friendly against Leigh on Sunday.

Crusaders are considering signing Gareth Raynor on a short-term contract. The winger, whose contract was terminated by Hull earlier this month, faces a court case on counterfeiting charges in April, but could join the Welsh side until then.