sport

Tigers duo banned for semi

Castleford will be without centre Justin Carney and forward Weller Hauraki for Sunday's Tetley's Challenge Cup semi-final against Widnes.

The duo will both miss the big game at Leigh Sports Village due to suspension.

Carney has been banned for two matches and fined 300 by an independent disciplinary tribunal after pleading guilty to making a dangerous throw on Thomas Minns.

The 26-year-old Australian was charged with the Grade B offence after throwing London Broncos centre Minns in the 69th minute of the Tigers' Super League victory at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday.

Hauraki will also miss out as Castleford bid to book a place at Wembley after his appeal against a two-match suspension was dismissed.

New Zealander Hauraki, a second-row, was banned last week for striking with his knees during the 18-18 draw at Hull on July 24.

Carney, who was suspended on three separate occasions last season, is Castleford's top try scorer with 17 this term.

He was handed a two-match ban for punching in May and, although his absence will be a blow for Tigers coach Daryl Powell, the West Yorkshire club did manage to pull off a shock win over Wigan in the quarter-finals while he was suspended.

Powell will also be without Grant Millington due to a knee injury and he admits the loss of the trio gives the Vikings an edge.

"I think it'll be tough. On balance it probably makes Widnes favourites, but I think we've got enough in our squad," he said.

"We've got good quality players across the board, but they've been going particularly well and I think it'll be a real challenge for us.

"They're a good side with probably the form half-back at the moment, Kevin Brown, so they will be a real threat to us."

Powell, 49, tasted Challenge Cup glory as a player with Leeds in 1999 and he admits leading his local team Castleford out at Wembley on August 23 would be a moment to savour.

He added: "It would be special. This is a club I supported as a teenager. I never played here so to be a coach here has been immense anyway, and it'd be a pretty special moment to be able to do that.

"Of course when you get to a final you want to win them. But that's for another time.

"The key thing for us is to just perform to our potential and give ourselves a chance of getting over the top of Widnes."