Rugby League - Powell wary of wounded Warriors

Castleford coach Daryl Powell is taking little encouragement from the absence of Sam Tomkins as he seeks to condemn Super League leaders Wigan to a second defeat in five days.

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Rugby League - Powell wary of wounded Warriors
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Sam Tomkins has scored 23 tries for Wigan in Super league this season

The Warriors not only have to bounce back from a first defeat for three months, they must do so without their talismanic full-back, who has scored 23 tries in Super League so far this season but sits out Friday's game with a knee injury sustained in Monday's 22-12 loss to Warrington.

Lewis Tierney, the 18-year-old son of former dual-code international Jason Robinson, will step into Tomkins' shoes for his home debut with a ringing endorsement from Powell. "Obviously Tomkins is a key player for them but, from what I've seen of Tierney, he's a pretty good player," Powell said.

"He's got his dad's genes, he's pretty quick. They're a good side whoever they put out. The young players that have come through their systems are exceptional. The mentality they have built up over a number of years means that you never go there thinking it's going to be easier because they've a few players missing.

"We should have learned a lesson when we went to Leeds a few weeks back, that you can't expect anyone is going to do the job for you. It's got to be the things that you do. We've focused on ourselves with the way we play the game and, if we can get that right, we're confident we can challenge any team in the comp."

While Wigan look to build again following the ending of their 13-match winning run, the Tigers go to the DW Stadium on a high after their thrilling 30-28 win over Hull last Friday.

"We're feeling confident about ourselves," Powell added. "Over the last four weeks, we've had two wins and a draw, so we're going to go after the game and really look to challenge everything that Wigan do. We're going to enjoy ourselves and get stuck into the game."

Wigan coach Shaun Wane is relieved to be back at home after playing six consecutive matches "on the road".

"It will be good to be back at the DW Stadium in front of our home fans," he said. "I am glad Castleford are hitting some good form. It will make it a tough game for us. I see it more as a mental challenge for us."

Huddersfield seek to keep the pressure on the Warriors when they look to complete the double over fifth-placed Catalan Dragons at the John Smith's Stadium. Friday's other fixture, between St Helens and Hull KR, is a battle between two teams running into form as they seek to cement a place in the top eight.

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