Super League: Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos preview
Last Updated: 08/05/14 9:09am
Castleford Tigers will be looking to return to winning ways against fierce West Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos at the Mend-A-Hose Stadium on Thursday night.
The Tigers suffered a heart-breaking 29-28 loss to Huddersfield Giants on Sunday while Brian McDermott's Rhinos ended Wigan Warriors' eight-game winning run at Headingley two days earlier.
Castleford's defeat meant they are two-point behind second-placed St Helens while Leeds are the league leaders with nine wins and a draw from their opening 11 league outings.
The Tigers claimed a famous 14-12 triumph over the Rhinos at home in Round 2 last season before Leeds exacted a measure of revenge with a 42-24 success in the corresponding fixture at home in June.
Former Rhinos head coach Daryl Powell has made two-changes to that which suffered a late defeat at the John Smith's Stadium at the weekend.
The ex-Featherstone Rovers tactician has brought in ex-Rhinos Jordan Tansey and Ashley Gibson to his squad James Clare and Richard Owen. Former Limoux prop Lee Jewitt will have to wait for his Tigers debut.
Powell knows Leeds have one of the best set of backs in the business and that they will be a major threat on Thursday.
"You can't give them any space and sometimes it's very difficult not to give them space. At some point they're going to get some space to come at you," said Powell.
"People like Ryan Hall 107 kilos and Briscoe's as strong as a bull and Zak Hardarker who runs like an antelope, there's threats everywhere."
McDermott has named an unchanged 19-man squad for Leeds' short trip to Castleford with Ben Jones-Bishop and Stevie Ward joining the 17 that the Warriors last week.
That could be an extended run at hooker for stand-in Chris Clarkson with Rob Burrow and Paul Aiton sidelined while Liam Sutcliffe may remain on the substitutes' bench if Danny McGuire and Kevin Sinfield retain their partnership in the halves.
"Cas are going well and it will be very tough. But we have had a couple of tough games over the last few weeks, so we are battle-hardened," Clarkson, who has played in Leeds' last five games, told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
"We know it will be tough at Cas, but we are pretty confident with our defence at the minute. It is going well and we are all working hard for each other, so there's no reason why we can't do that this week."
Castleford Tigers: Tansey, Dixon, Shenton, Webster, Carney, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Gibson, Channing, Finn.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton.
Don't miss any of the action from the Mend-A-Hose Stadium on Thursday as Castleford Tigers play host to leaders Leeds Rhinos live on Sky Sports 3HD from 7.30pm
First Utility Super League
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield Giants24 - 24Leeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC24 - 20Salford Red Devils
St Helens44 - 4Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors60 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves22 - 20Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers36 - 28Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red DevilsvsWarrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Super League 2014, round 12
St Helens moved back to within a point of Super League leaders Leeds by hammering struggling Bradford 50-0 at Odsal.
Salford Red Devils coach Iestyn Harris saw signs of improvement from his side in their 16-16 draw with Hull KR.
Salford Red Devils earned a 16-16 draw against Hull KR to halt their four-match losing run.
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