Rugby League: Castleford call on Coyne

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The Independent Online
CASTLEFORD'S Peter Coyne gets an immediate chance to atone for his disappointments in the Sydney Grand Final when he makes his debut for his new club against Sheffield Eagles tomorrow.

Coyne, who plays for the Sydney club St George, comes straight into the Castleford side at stand-off, with Tony Smith moving into the centres or on to the bench, and his new coach, Darryl Van de Velde, is confident that he will soon put last Sunday's 28-8 thrashing by the Brisbane Broncos behind him.

Coyne was widely criticised after the game for failing to move the ball wide. 'He had a disappointing game,' Van de Velde said, 'but that doesn't worry me one bit, because I know what he can do. His role here will be to get the ball to our three-quarters and he fully understands that.'

Hull, at home to Halifax, also have two players available who have reasons to regret events at the Sydney Football Stadium last week.

Ivan Henjak was an unused substitute for St George, after playing a valuable role in helping to get them to the Grand Final. James Grant had a personal success, scoring the only two tries for Balmain in the reserve grade Grand Final, but his side still lost to North Sydney.

The Hull coach, Royce Simmons, has problems in his pack, with Dean Busby definitely out and Jon Sharp, Lee Jackson, Andy Dannatt and Steve McNamara all doubtful.

He will not decide until today whether to start with his Australian newcomers or introduce them as substitutes. Given his concern about the pace in Halifax's backline, however, Grant's speed looks too valuable to ignore.

Hull still have an offer of about pounds 60,000 on the table for Graeme Hallas, the Great Britain tourist wing or centre who is determined to leave their neighbours, Hull KR. But Simmons believes that Hallas will join the Australian club, Canberra.

The Canberra forward, Darren Fritz, who is on loan to Wakefield Trinity, will miss their game against the unbeaten league leaders, St Helens. Fritz has been suspended for two matches after being sent off for foul and abusive language at Warrington last week.

The forward Jonathan Neill will be out of the St Helens team because of a kidney injury. However, the good news is that examination in hospital showed he had bruised rather than ruptured the kidney during Wednesday's Lancashire Cup quarter-final victory over Widnes.

The Oldham prop, Mark Sheals, has also been banned for two games as a result of his dismissal for a high tackle in the Lancashire Cup tie against his old club, Leigh.

(Photograph omitted)