Super League: Hull FC v Castleford Tigers preview
Last Updated: 24/07/14 9:37am
With just five rounds left of the regular Super League season, Castleford head coach Daryl Powell says there's a new found belief in his squad
Castleford Tigers will aim to keep pace with Super League’s leading pack when they travel to the KC Stadium to face Hull FC on Thursday evening.
Daryl Powell’s Tigers are unbeaten in their last four outings, leaving them just three points adrift of leaders St Helens in fourth place.
Castelford kept up with the five-team leading pack after securing a late 24-24 draw against West Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos in a night of high drama at Headingley.
In a pulsating affair tensions boiled over as the game reached a climax with Rhinos and England captain Kevin Sinfield sent off for head-butting, before Grant Millington punished the hosts by touching down an equalising try to ensure spoils were shared.
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Contrastingly, Hull enter Round 22 of the competition winless in their last five matches and on the back of three successive defeats in the month of July.
Defending champions Wigan Warriors handed Lee Radford’s troops a stern less at the DW Stadium last time out, running in 10 tries in a 56-10 victory.
However, loose forward Liam Watts is determined to see a turnaround when the Tigers come to town.
“We’ve got a huge game now against Castleford, for no other reason than we owe everyone a performance,” he told the club’s official website. “The coaches, the fans, the club and even ourselves.
“We have to turn up and we’ll be straight back in tomorrow to get focused on that, we have to turn it around.”
The 12th-placed Airlie Birds have won three of their past five meetings with the Tigers, although Castleford will be bidding for a hat-trick on Thursday having won the last two matches between the pair.
Radford has opted for just the one change to his 19-man squad, with captain Gareth Ellis making an eagerly-anticipated return.
Ellis has missed the previous two fixtures for the Black and Whites with a back injury which he suffered in last month’s trip to Wakefield Wildcats, despite playing a week later against Warrington.
There are also welcome fitness boosts for Setaimata Sa, Kirk Yeaman and Richard Horne after they were pulled from the team that faced the Warriors after failing late fitness tests.
Powell has made three changes to the side which held Leeds in that titanic encounter at Headingley, with Jake Webster, Justin Carney and Craig Huby all dropping out.
Forward Garreth Carvell is included in the Tigers 19-man squad in the same week he was released from the remainder of his Hull FC contract.
James Clare and Ashley Gibson are also called into the travelling party, while hooker Daryl Clark retains his place despite picking up an ankle injury late on against Leeds.
Meanwhile, veteran front-rower Andy Lynch is relishing a return to the KC Stadium, where he made 53 appearances in the black and white of Hull.
“It is a massive game for us,” the Castleford forward told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“We need to get back to winning ways and I think Hull will be the same. They haven’t been in the best form lately, but it is the first time they have been back at home for a while.”
Hull FC: Abdull, Bowden, Cunningham, Ellis, Green, Hadley, Houghton, Lineham, Paea, Paleaaesina, Rankin, Sa, Shaul, Talanoa, Thompson, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman
Castleford Tigers: Dixon, Shenton, Dorn, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Millington, Hauraki, Massey, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Gibson, Clare, Finn, Jewitt, Carvell
You can see Hull FC v Castleford Tigers live on Sky Sports 3HD from 7:30pm
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K RLiveSalford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield WildcatsvsHull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield 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 22
Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane says the team’s attitude was all wrong following their surprise defeat to Bradford.
Castleford Tigers' Weller Hauraki is facing a possible two to three-game ban after being charged by the RFL.
Huddersfield Giants coach Paul Anderson has not given up on top spot after Sunday's win over Catalan Dragons.
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- McDermott: Rhinos in good shape
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- Leeds edge out Salford
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