Castleford Tigers vs Hull FC Preview
21st Sep 2017 by TSZ
- Castleford's under-strength side produced a brilliant display as they beat Wigan last weekend to break the 50-point mark for competition points this season.
- Daryl Powell has decided to ring the changes even further ahead of their semi-final next week with Zak Hardaker, Oliver Holmes, Nathan Massey, Grant Millington, Adam Milner and Michael Shenton all given the week off. Jy Hitchcox, Tuoyo Egodo, Andy Lynch, Ben Roberts, Will Maher and Conor Fitzsimmons take their place in the squad.
- Castleford have won 17 of their last 18 games in the league as well as beating Hull in five of their last six league games when playing at home.
Head Coach: Daryl Powell
Squad: Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Tuoyo Edogo, Conor Fitzsimmons, Alex Foster, Jy Hitchcox, Tom Holmes, Kevin Larroyer, Andy Lynch, Will Maher, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Greg Minikin, Joel Monaghan, Ben Roberts, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Gadwin Springer, Jake Trueman, Jake Webster
Unavailable: Luke Gale (Appendix), Junior Moors (Cheek), Zak Hardaker (Rested), Oliver Holmes (Rested), Nathan Massey (Rested), Grant Millington (Rested), Adam Milner (Rested), Michael Shenton (Rested)
- Hull held off a late Wakefield fightback to clinch a narrow victory last weekend, a result the black and whites needed to keep their top four hopes in their own hands.
- Hull now travel to league leaders Castleford knowing a win would guarantee third place and book them a trip to Headingley in next week's semi-finals. However, they have lost four of their last five Super League games away from home.
- Lee Radford is able to boast a fully-fit squad with Chris Green returning to the squad having recovered from having his appendix removed. Jordan Thompson is the man who makes way.
Head Coach: Lee Radford
Squad: Josh Bowden, Jake Connor, Gareth Ellis, Brad Fash, Mahe Fonua, Chris Green, Josh Griffin, Danny Houghton, Albert Kelly, Sika Manu, Steve Michaels, Mark Minichiello, Jamie Shaul, Marc Sneyd, Fetuli Talanoa, Scott Taylor, Carlos Tuimavave, Danny Washbrook, Liam Watts
Unavailable: Jordan Thompson
- Castleford's 54 tries in their potent LW zone is the highest by any team in any zone throughout the league. That figure is largely thanks to Super League's top scorer Greg Eden contributing 38 of those tries.
- Hull however favour their RW zone with their number of tries in that area rising recently thanks to Mahe Fonua's rich vein of form. The Tongan powerhouse has scored six tries in his last four games against Castleford and Hull will surely look to utilise him here.
- Worryingly for Castleford in this match-up, their LW zone is their weakest area defensively. 32.1% of the tries they've conceded this season have come in that zone.
- However, Hull's RW zone is where they concede most tries with 31.5% of the tries they've conceded this season coming in that zone. With Eden's try scoring abilities, his contest against Fonua could be a fascinating one.
Analysis - what to expect
Castleford can set a new Super League record for most points in a league season with a win here but will face a side who will potentially need a win to guarantee their place in the semi-finals. Hull's place in the top four could be secure by the time this game kicks off if St Helens fail to beat Salford on Thursday. Castleford have been extremely strong at home this season and will want to carry that forward into their home semi-final against a team they could come up against next week if the results fall the right way. With the fixture meaning more to Hull, they could come away with the win they need to secure a spot in the semi-finals but it also wouldn't be a surprise if Castleford improve their impressive win ratio.
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