Leeds Rhinos vs Castleford Tigers Preview

The Lowdown

LEEDS RHINOS

  • Leeds were too strong for Championship side Featherstone as they progressed to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup with a comprehensive display last weekend.
  • Brian McDermott is able to recall Jamie Jones-Buchanan after he served a ban last week, with Rob Burrow also back after sitting out against Featherstone. Carl Ablett misses out through tonsillitis.
  • Leeds have won 12 of their last 13 Super League matches at Headingley Carnegie but will face a big test to improve that run as they host the free-scoring league leaders.

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Squad: Tom Briscoe, Rob Burrow, Adam Cuthbertson, Brett Ferres, Keith Galloway, Mitch Garbutt, Ashton Golding, Ryan Hall, Ash Handley, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Danny McGuire, Joel Moon, Anthony Mullally, Matt Parcell, Brad Singleton, Liam Sutcliffe, Stevie Ward, Jack Walker, Kallum Watkins

Unavailable: Jimmy Keinhorst (Hand), Brett Delaney (Knee), Carl Ablett (Tonsillitis)

CASTLEFORD TIGERS

  • Castleford tasted defeat for the first time since 23rd April last weekend, falling to the side that were also the last team to beat them, Hull FC. The result meant the Super League leaders were knocked out of the Challenge Cup.
  • Daryl Powell makes a couple of changes to his 19-man squad with Michael Shenton and Andy Lynch dropping out for Jy Hitchcox and Gadwin Springer.
  • Castleford will be looking to bounce back in the league, with them sitting six points clear at the top of the table having won 15 of their 18 league games this season. They also face a Rhinos side that they have defeated in their last six league encounters.

Head Coach: Daryl Powell

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

Unavailable: Oliver Holmes (Knee), Matt Cook (Knee), Junior Moors (Knee), Michael Shenton (Knee), Andy Lynch

Analysis - what to expect
Leeds and Castleford come head-to-head in what, on paper at least, looks to be the tie of round 19 in Super League. Leeds head coach Brian McDermott has added even more spice to the game with his pre-match comments and has claimed his side are ready to go toe-to-toe with the Tigers. Leeds' home form has been superb for a long period but that will be put to the test against Castleford, who have been the standout side this season. The Tigers have also become somewhat of a bogey side for the Rhinos and that may just be enough to get the better of them in what should be a thrilling battle.