Castleford Tigers vs Salford Red Devils Preview

13th Jul 2017 by TSZ

The Lowdown

CASTLEFORD TIGERS

  • Castleford needed a late drop-goal to overcome local rivals Wakefield last week. The Tigers were 16-0 behind at half-time but a strong second half showing saw them sneak home at the end of the game. 
  • Daryl Powell's squad depth looks like it is about to be tested with several big names picking up injuries in last week's win. Jake Webster, Adam Milner and Larne Patrick all miss out with Tom Holmes, Kevin Larroyer and Jake Trueman receiving call-ups. 
  • Castleford have now won their last 10 Super League matches, which has helped them to build an eight-point league at the top of the table and are potentially just a few wins away from guaranteeing a semi-final berth.
  • Castleford have scored more tries in the LW (40) and LC (26) zones than any other Super League team this season. 
  • Salford have conceded just nine tries in the LC zone this season, the lowest number in Super League. The absence of Junior Sa'u and Greg Johnson in this game could result in a backline shuffle - will this number increase as a result of this?

Head Coach: Daryl Powell

Squad: Greg Eden, Alex Foster, Luke Gale, Zak Hardaker, Jy Hitchcox, Tom Holmes, Kevin Larroyer, Andy Lynch, Nathan Massey, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Greg Minikin, Joel Monaghan, Ben Roberts, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Michael Shenton, Gadwin Springer, Jake Trueman

Unavailable: Oliver Holmes (Knee), Matt Cook (Knee), Junior Moors (Knee), Jake Webster (Ribs), Adam Milner (Ankle), Larne Patrick (Injured)

SALFORD RED DEVILS

  • Salford were disappointing in defeat as they conceded 50 points at home to Leeds to surrender 2nd place in the Super League table last weekend.             
  • Ian Watson is without the suspended Junior Sa'u as well as Craig Kopczak who picked up an injury in last week's game. Todd Carney and Logan Tomkins return to the squad. 
  • A trip to league leaders Castleford is not what Salford would want having lost four of their last five Super League games, with their place in the top 4 still not secure. 
  • Salford have scored more tries in the RW zone than any other team in Super League this season (37).
  • A good indication that both teams enjoy attacking out on the edges comes in the form of a lack of tries in the middle zone of the pitch. Cas have scored 7.4% of their tries in that zone whilst Salford have scored 8.2% of their tries there, the two lowest percentages in Super League.

Head Coach: Ian Watson

Squad: Jake Bibby, Todd Carney, Michael Dobson, Niall Evalds, George Griffin, James Hasson, Weller Hauraki, Josh Jones, Olsi Krasniqi, Ryan Lannon, Rob Lui, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Dan Murray, Gareth O'Brien, Lama Tasi, Logan Tomkins, Jordan Walne, Kris Welham, Josh Wood

Unavailable: Junior Sa'u (Suspended), Mark Flanagan (Injured), Craig Kopczak (Injured), Adam Walne, Lee Mossop, Kriss Brining, Greg Johnson

Analysis - what to expect     
Castleford face another test of their title credentials this weekend as they host 3rd placed Salford. Cas will be hoping 13 isn't unlucky for them as they seek to claim another home win to add to their last 12 consecutive home league victories. They face an out-of-sorts Salford side who are still well-placed but are now looking down rather than up in the Super League table. Facing a Castleford side with so much going for them, especially at home, is a daunting task. However, they are Super League's highest scorers away from home and have scored an average of 29.4 points on their league travels this season. That might not be a match for a Super League high of 40.9 points per game on average for Castleford's home games, but if both teams produce that try-scoring form, it could prove to be a close game. The preference has to be for the Tigers with their impressive home record not looking like coming to an end any time soon.  

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