Charbel Tasipale injury latest as Castleford Tigers coach praises duo on debut

Ben Olawumi
Charbel Tasipale Castleford Tigers Alamy

Charbel Tasipale leaving the field in the early stages of Castleford's defeat at Wigan

Castleford Tigers await the results of a scan on the injury which forced overseas ace Charbel Tasipale from the field in their 36-14 defeat at Wigan Warriors.

Lebanon international Tasipale went down clutching his knee just seven minutes into the Round 8 clash at the DW Stadium, eventually limping off and heading straight down the tunnel.

Unsurprisingly, the 24-year-old –  who had been slotted in at centre for his third appearance of the campaign – didn’t return to the field having been replaced by Brad Martin.

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Charbel Tasipale injury latest from Castleford Tigers coach

Castleford have already lost one of the men filling a quota spot in Papua New Guinean Sylvester Namo, who missed last night’s defeat and will remain banned for the next four games after his five-match suspension was upheld on appeal earlier this week.

And it now looks like they could be without another for an extended period in Tasipale, though head coach Craig Lingard was unable to deliver a comprehensive verdict on the injury post-match.

The Tigers’ absentee count is already comfortably in double figures, with those on that list including winger Josh Simm – out for the rest of the season having required surgery on his shoulder – and Joe Westerman who missed the defeat at Wigan with an ankle knock.

Lingard said: “He (Tasipale) hass got his knee in a brace, so he’ll be going for a scan. We’ve got a loyalty reward card on these scans now, so I think this must be a free one!”

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Craig Lingard praises duo following debuts

As a result of that lengthy list of absentees, Cas and Lingard have had to turn to youth. At loose forward, academy product George Hill made his first-team debut for the club having only ever previously been an unused 18th man for the Tigers. Hill’s only previous senior appearances have all come for Championship outfit Whitehaven.

After an impressive showing from the 19-year-old, Lingard said: “For a young kid like George Hill to make his debut today against a team like Wigan, playing that first 40 minutes like he did… I thought he was exceptional in that first 40 minutes and he led how we wanted to lead.

“The plan was to get him out there, give him the first 15 or 20 minutes and get him off then try to get him back on (later in the game), but he was that good in the first half that we had to leave him out there.

“It was testament to his attitude, his performance and his fitness to be able to do that against a quality team like Wigan. I thought he was exceptional in that first half.”

Another Cas debutant was Louis Senior, twin brother of Tigers ace Innes. Louis – who joined on a short-term loan deal from fellow Super League outfit Hull KR – earlier in the week, scored a first-half try.

Lingard added: “I’m really pleased for him and we’re pleased to get him in. I think with what we’ve got on the edges with both Innes and Louis, we’ve got some size, we’ve got some threats and we’ve got some athleticism out there.

“They’ve got strong carries and they get us out of yardage well, but we’ve seen with both Innes and now Louis, that if they get a bit of fresh air in front of them then they are going to take some stopping.

“There’s no substitute for pace so we want that on the edges, when they get a bit of a sniff and there’s open space in front of them, to finish tries and we’ve got a couple of wingers now who can potentially do that.

Jason Qareqare is on his way back, he’s two or three weeks away, and we all know how Jase can finish tries so we’ve got a bit of pace on the edge and on the wings which is always pleasing.”

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