To kick-off our 2019 Super League season preview, we look at how the Castleford Tigers will get on in 2019.
The Tigers finished last season in third and will be aiming to achieve a play off spot once again next season and potentially make their second Grand Final appearance in two years.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ian Rankin (Huddersfield Giants – Loan), Chris Clarkson (Hull Kingston Rovers – Trial).
Jake Webster (Bradford Bulls), James Green (Bradford Bulls), Gadwin Springer (Toronto Wolfpack), Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e (Halifax), Brandon Douglas (Doncaster), Kieron Gill (Newcastle – Loan), Jack Wray (Dewsbury Rams), Jy Hitchcox (Bradford Bulls).
First Five Fixtures
Dragons (H), Hull FC (A), London (A), Hull KR (H), Warrington (A).
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Tigers ended their 2018 campaign on a sour note, failing to score a single point in their last two games which included the semi final defeat to eventual champions Wigan Warriors. Castleford fans will surely be hoping for nothing but a play off finish in 2019. This coming from a mixture of both experience and youthful talent that is coming through the ranks.
One key player who could make a difference for Daryl Powell’s side will be Paul McShane, the hooker who previously played for Leeds Rhinos had an exceptional 2019 often playing a secondary playmaker.
Super League fans expressed heir concerns when he was not brought into the England set up or nominated for the Man Of Steel Award, won by St Helen’s Ben Barba.
However, his skills with and without he ball have been noticeable since he penned a contract with the Tigers and the amount of tries he has assisted is second to none and he will be a gem in the Tigers attack next season.
Looking at the key signings for the Tigers, Jordan Rankin will be a pleasure to watch at the Mend A Hose Jungle. Rankin’s been brought in to the club to replace the injured Luke Gale who suffered an Achilles injury during pre-season and thus been ruled out for most of the season.
Rankin joined from the Huddersfield Giants in a swap deal that saw second rower Joe Wardle move back to his old club. Rankin’s experience is something the Tigers will need in the halves with the 27-year-old previously plying his trade in the NRL.
Top Tryscorer – Greg Eden
Top Pointscorer – Paul Mcshane
Club Player of the Year – Greg Minikin
WHERE WILL CASTLEFORD TIGERS FINISH?