Andy Last provides latest on Alex Mellor and Jordan Turner following vital victory

Josh McAllister
Andy Last, Alex Mellor. PA Images

Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Wire/PA Images.

Castleford boss Andy Last has provided the latest on Alex Mellor and Jordan Turner following the Magic Weekend 26-24 victory over Leeds. 

The clash was the final fixture of the opening day at Newcastle’s St James’ Park that also saw wins for Salford and Catalans.

Last’s Tigers claimed their third win of the season, and their second over Leeds, thanks to a late Jason Qareqare try, who was recalled from his loan spell at Bradford earlier in the week.

Jordan Turner was forced from the action, while Alex Mellor had to leave the field for a head injury assessment during the act of scoring his second try.

Alex Mellor and Jordan Turner latest

Last says that Mellor, who was named in the centres, has passed his HIA, while Turner should be available to face Salford next week at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

“He’s speaking fine,” Last said on Mellor.

“I think he’s going to have to have a couple of stitches, but I think he’s passed his actual HIA. Touch wood, he should be OK.”

On Turner, the Castleford boss continued: “Jordan came into the game with a little bit of a tight calf.

“We monitored it and he got through training absolutely fine. But then during the course of the game, he felt his full left side, calf, glute and hamstring tighten up. 

“Because of the nature of Leeds and the fact that they challenge you from anywhere on the field, you can’t stop moving defensively.

“JT was just limping a little bit and we made the decision to move Kenny Edwards onto that left centre position and put a fresh body in George Griffin into that left side back-row and they did a good job.

“JT was reluctant to come off, but it was the nature of the team you’re playing against, you can’t have any passengers out there and we felt the way he was moving, we didn’t want him to get caught out and him be kicking himself that he missed a play from a defensive point of view.

“It was a precaution and hopefully it allows him to be available for selection next week.”

“I’m absolutely over the moon.”

The victory sees Castleford widen the gap between themselves and Super League strugglers Wakefield, who face Leigh on the opening game of Sunday in the search for their first win of the season.

Castleford had found themselves 10 down in the final 15 against Leeds, before Mellor and Qareqare exploited space on the right, with Gareth Widdop kicking the match-winning conversion from the touchline.

“I’m absolutely over the moon and a sense of relief,” Last said.

“It’s probably the first time this year where I’ve really felt the pressure of needing the win.

“With the opponent suffering a little bit of adversity, they obviously had some players missing, it felt like a significant game for us as a group that we needed to make sure that we win this one.

“There was a period there with 10 to go where we’re 10 down and it could slip away from us. But I always had that belief in the group that if we can get the ball into our best players’ hands, we could cause them some problems. And we did that.”

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