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
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
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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- Bulls v St Helens: Teams
- Red Devils v Hull KR: Teams
- McDermott proud of Peacock
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- Powell up for Leeds challenge
- Walker given one-match ban
- Gaskell out to topple Saints