Huddersfield postponement hits Castleford’s Challenge Cup final preparations

Challenge Cup finalists Castleford’s next Super League game, against Huddersfield on Tuesday, has become the latest to fall victim to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 10:49 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 10:52 am
Challenge Cup finalists Castleford’s next Super League game, against Huddersfield on Tuesday, has become the latest to fall victim to the surge in Covid-19 cases.
Challenge Cup finalists Castleford’s next Super League game, against Huddersfield on Tuesday, has become the latest to fall victim to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Tigers forfeited their last match, against St Helens last Wednesday, after being unable to raise a team and the Giants announced on Sunday night that one of their players returned a positive lateral flow Covid test.

Huddersfield say they are awaiting the result from a second player who is displaying symptoms and track and trace regulations have taken at least four more players from their squad.

They say nearly 20 players from Ian Watson’s Super League squad will be unavailable on Tuesday evening for varying reasons. It is not yet known whether Castleford will be awarded a 24-0 victory or whether the game will be re-arranged.

Giants managing director Richard Thewlis said: “Everyone knows how tough we are doing it injury-wise at the moment and this morning’s positive result and subsequent track and trace was a hammer blow to us all.

“It has now become simply impossible to field 17 players safely on Tuesday to face the Tigers.

“This is not a decision taken lightly as all would have seen how keen we have been to fulfil the fixture list from the side we put out over on Humberside last week, which was a game that had we chosen to do so we could have postponed till later in the year but felt that in the overall interests of the game we needed to play as we felt able to field 17 safely.

“This is not the case on Tuesday and, whilst we recognise that technically it is possible that we fall short of the Covid threshold for postponements (we are awaiting some results still) we do wish to re-arrange this game and would hope that the RFL and Castleford will agree for us to do so.

“We do not plan at this stage to name any of our players and their issues however will be making the necessary medical information known to the RFL In confidence.”

The contest is the 10th Super League game to be called off so far this year because of coronavirus.

It leaves Castleford just one more game – at home to Salford next Sunday – before they take on St Helens in the Cup final at Wembley on Saturday, July 17.