Rugby League - Tigers hope they still have some bite

Castleford's slender resources will be put to the test when the Tigers embark on a spell of four games in just 13 days, starting with Sunday's visit to Hull KR.

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Rugby League - Tigers hope they still have some bite
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Ian Millward has the smallest squad in Super League

The Tigers, who began the season with back-to-back fixtures against each of the 2012 Grand Finalists, have the smallest squad in Super League but face the biggest challenge of all over the Easter period.

Sunday's game is followed by a Good Friday derby with Wakefield before Cas go to St Helens on Easter Monday and then host leaders Huddersfield four days later. "It's a tough ask, particularly with the size of the squad we've got," said assistant coach Stuart Donlan. "We are just going to have to take it game by game."

He added: "We've prepared well for this game and we'll look at Wakefield next week and we'll see how we come out of that before we move on to Easter Monday. A win on Sunday would be a good way to start this tough period that we've got."

Hull KR's Australian head coach Craig Sandercock is scathing of the league for agreeing to move the game for television purposes.

"Originally we were scheduled for Friday and we looked at that and we said that was okay," Sandercock told the Hull Daily Mail. "Then they change it to Sunday evening. It's a disgrace. They talk about player welfare and they ban the shoulder charge yet they are quite happy for teams to play three games in eight days. That is ludicrous."

Castleford borrowed Warrington half-back Gareth O'Brien earlier this year after losing Rangi Chase to suspension but are not counting on being able to bring in loan players during the busy Easter period.

"At this time of year no club will be willing to give us any players so we'll go with the squad we've got," Donlan said.

"We're lucky enough that the majority of players who haven't been in our top 17 each week have been been playing on a dual registration at Keighley and we've a couple at Dewsbury and we've kept tabs on them. We're lucky at the minute that we've got a healthy squad and, after this game, Justin Carney is back from his suspension."

Meanwhile, Leeds and Wakefield will make another attempt to play their round eight fixture on Sunday after it was snowed off on Friday. The rescheduling means an especially short-turnaround for the Rhinos, who are next in action on Thursday night with a televised derby against Bradford.

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