Friday’s sole Super 8s game sees Castleford host Wakefield. Here’s everything you need to know…
After being rested last weekend against Huddersfield due to a side strain, Luke Gale is expected to be back in the side. He only returned at the end of August for the Tigers after suffering a broken kneecap.
Will Maher is also included, with Joe Wardle making way for him.
Castleford 19-man squad: Clare, Clark, Eden, Gale, Maher, Massey, Mata’utia, McMeeken, McShane, Millington, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Roberts, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Trueman, Watts, Webster.
Wakefield coach Chris Chester has made three changes to his side that won against Catalans. He has said to the media this week that he is down to his last 17 players so will be hoping to have an injury-free game. Ben Jones-Bishop returns after missing the win to attend the birth of his child. There are also returns to the squad for Danny Kirmond and Chris Annakin but Kirmond is still not 100% so is unlikely to play.
Tom Johnstone is out with a knee injury suffered in the dying seconds of last week’s game. Keegan Hirst, who will have elbow surgery, and Max Jowitt also miss out for the trip to Castleford. Anthony England is included but is due to undergo ankle surgery.
Wakefield 19-man squad: Annakin, Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Batchelor, Crowther, England, Grix, Hampshire, Horo, Huby, Jones-Bishop, Kirmond, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Randell, Tupou, Wood.
Castleford have beaten Wakefield twice already this season so can they make it a hat-trick? The sides faced each other in March with the Tigers winning 11-6 in torrential rain as well as a month later beating Trinity 24-4 in slightly better conditions.
Castleford are on track for their fifth victory in a row, having not lost since the first round of the Super 8s. Wakefield’s form as of late has been patchy, but they have won three out of five Super 8s games so far.
KEY BATTLE – Luke Gale vs Ryan Hampshire
Luke Gale has always been a game-changer for the Tigers; they look a completely different unit with him in the fray. However, Hampshire has had a similar effect for Trinity in the past few weeks. He seems to have improved on his partnership with fellow halfback Jacob Miller and is enjoying his time in Wakefield. There is some uncertainty about his future as he is off-contract at the end of the season so with other clubs sniffing, will he be a Wakefield player in 2019?
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 21st September
Venue: Mend-A-Hose Jungle
Referee: Gareth Hewer
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