Castleford Tigers vs Leeds Rhinos Preview

The Lowdown

CASTLEFORD TIGERS

  • League leaders Castleford continued their winning streak as they came from behind to defeat Huddersfield last week, a win that means they have won 15 of their last 16 Super League games.
  • Daryl Powell has gone with what he deems as his first-choice 19-man squad after vowing to just 'tune-up' in the final few games of the season. That means Mike McMeeken and Grant Millington return to the fold after they were rested last week with Matt Cook and Oliver Holmes making way.
  • Castleford have beaten Leeds in their last seven Super League fixtures and will be looking to extend that run to eight games ahead of what could be a potential Grand Final encounter next month.

Head Coach: Daryl Powell

Squad: Greg Eden, Alex Foster, Luke Gale, Zak Hardaker, Jy Hitchcox, Kevin Larroyer, Nathan Massey, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Junior Moors, Larne Patrick, Ben Roberts, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Michael Shenton, Gadwin Springer, Jake Webster

Unavailable: Andy Lynch, Joel Monaghan, Tom Holmes, Matt Cook, Oliver Holmes

LEEDS RHINOS

  • Leeds cemented their spot in second place in the Super League table after seeing off Hull FC last week and are now just one win away from securing a home semi-final.
  • Brian McDermott makes just one change to his squad from the Hull game with Rob Burrow forced to sit out after picking up a suspension for a headbutt in that match. Jordan Lilley takes his place in the 19.
  • The Rhinos head into the game in good form having won six of their last eight Super League games but must do more on the road, having lost their last three away fixtures.

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Squad: Carl Ablett, Tom Briscoe, Adam Cuthbertson, Brett Delaney, Mitch Garbutt, Ashton Golding, Ryan Hall, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jimmy Keinhorst, Jordan Lilley, Danny McGuire, Joel Moon, Anthony Mullally, Matt Parcell, Brad Singleton, Liam Sutcliffe, Stevie Ward, Jack Walker, Kallum Watkins

Unavailable: Rob Burrow (Suspended), Keith Galloway (Achilles), Josh Walters (Knee) Ash Handley (Knee), Brett Ferres (Knee)

Analysis - what to expect
It's first vs second in this encounter but it's mainly pride to fight it out for in this game. Castleford have already claimed the League Leaders' Shield with Leeds all-but certain of finishing second. Leeds would like to seal that position with a win here as well as overcoming a seven-game losing streak against the Tigers. The home side are not likely to let that happen though and will be looking to build some momentum ahead of the semi-finals. Their record is too difficult to ignore and Cas should extend their impressive winning record in this one.