Castleford Tigers vs Leeds Rhinos Preview

The Lowdown


  • Castleford produced a clinical display to emphatically book their place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals after a 53-10 win over St. Helens maintained their hugely impressive start to the season.
  • Zak Hardaker faces a late fitness test following the ankle knock he picked up against Saints and his loss coupled with Ben Roberts could result in some positional changes for the Tigers.
  • Castleford have been very strong at home this season and are yet to taste defeat on the own turf, but their away form hasn't been as solid with three wins and three defeats in their previous six away games. Facing a tough Leeds side at a neutral venue will test the Tigers' title credentials.

Head Coach: Daryl Powell

Squad: Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Luke Gale, Kieran Gill, Zak Hardaker, Tom Holmes, Alex Foster, Andy Lynch, Nathan Massey, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Greg Minikin, Adam Milner, Junior Moors, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Gadwin Springer, Michael Shenton, Jake Webster

Unavailable: Ben Roberts (Groin), Larne Patrick (Wrist), Joel Monaghan


  • Leeds head into this game knowing a win would leave them level on points with their table-topping opponents. They're in good form and have won nine of their last 12 Super League games.
  • A good start appears to be important for Leeds and will be arguably be even more so against a potent Cas team. The Rhinos have scored the first try in eight of their last nine Super League games, and extending that run could be the catalyst for a positive result.
  • Leeds are boosted by the return of Brett Delaney but are without Mitch Garbutt, Carl Ablett and Keith Galloway, leaving them light in the pack with Jimmy Keinhorst also missing.

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Squad: Ashton Golding, Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Joel Moon, Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Matt Parcell, Adam Cuthbertson, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Stevie Ward, Liam Sutcliffe, Brett Delaney, Brad Singleton, Brett Ferres, Anthony Mullally, Ash Handley, Jordan Baldwinson, Alex Sutcliffe

Unavailable: Mitch Garbutt (Concussion), Carl Ablett (Knee), Jimmy Keinhorst (Hand), Keith Galloway (Knee)

Analysis - what to expect
Magic Weekend draws to a close with what could turn out to be the game of the weekend. Castleford are white hot at the minute and although St. Helens were poor, some of the tries that the Tigers scored in that game were sensational. Leeds head into the game in good form themselves and will be smarting from the thumping they received at Castleford earlier on in the season. Whilst revenge could be on the cards, it's hard to back against a Castleford side who have won the last five Super League meetings between the two sides.