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Challenge Cup: Banned Justin Carney and Weller Hauraki to miss out for Castleford against Widnes

EDGWARE, ENGLAND - MARCH 27: Justin Carney breaks away to score a try for Castleford during the Super League match between London Broncos and Castleford Ti
Image: Justin Carney: Castleford centre to miss Challenge Cup clash

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.

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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."             

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