With both Castleford and Wakefield producing their best rugby for many-a-year, we could be looking at perhaps the most entertaining fixture between these sides in decades. As the Tigers look to strengthen their position at the top of the Super League, the visitors will be certainly looking to bring the hosts back down to earth as they themselves look to continue their good form and win their fourth game in a row.
Last Time Out
For the Castleford supporters who still acknowledge the very existence of Denny Solomona, they might remember that when these sides last met, it was him who scored a first half hat trick to lead the Tigers to a pretty comfortable victory. A 44-22 victory in fact, which didn’t offer much in the context of the Super 8s table however, as always it did give the home supporters their local bragging rights.
Among the Cas try scorers was the legendary Luke Dorn and current squad members, Paul McShane, Rangi Chase, Jake Webster and Luke Gale. Meanwhile for Wakefield, the tries came from Reece Lynn, Bill Tupou, Nick Scruton and a double from the much talked about Tom Johnstone.
Five out of the current top six try scorers this season are from either Castleford or Wakefield. Greg Eden leads the way with 11 tries while Luke Gale and Greg Minikin are right behind on 9 each. In fifth and sixth place are the two men who over the past few weeks have been an inspiration for Wakefield; Tom Johnstone and Ben Jones-Bishop who currently have 12 tries between them.
All five of these individuals have the capability of being match winners. They all possess the ability to turn the game on its head and to switch momentum in a heartbeat. Perhaps most importantly, this season they all have been deadly clinical. With all that in mind, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of these players comes up with the goods that will deliver the two points for their team.
Both sides have wind in their sails but on Friday, it will be Castleford with home advantage. On the other hand, Chris Chester’s side will come to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle as the underdogs. They will have nothing to lose and nothing to fear as they take on the league leaders. Daryl Powell’s side now have an immense target on their backs which everyone will try to hit. While Wakefield are expected to give Cas a tough test, I believe that the Tigers will have too much for the visitors and win this game to remain top of the Super League.
Daryl Powell has made just one change to his 19-man squad. Grant Millington is set to return from his head injury as he replaces the injured skipper Michael Shenton. Junior Moors and Oliver Holmes are also part of the squad however, Powell has revealed that they will go through more checks before the big derby at Wheldon Road.
Chris Chester meanwhile, has made two changes to the side which comfortably eased past Widnes last week. James Batchelor and Anthony Walker both lose a place in the 19-man squad as Anthony England and Mason Caton-Brown are drafted in.
Castleford: Chase, Cook, Eden, Gale, Hardaker, Holmes, Lynch, Massey, McShane, McMeeken, Millington, Minikin, Milner, Monaghan, Moors, Roberts, Sene-Lefao, Springer, Webster.
Wakefield: Allgood, Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Caton-Brown, England, Fifita, Finn, Grix, Hadley, Hirst, Huby, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Kirmond, Miller, Tupou, Williams, Wood.