Castleford Tigers are looking to maintain their undefeated record in 2019 when they travel to London Broncos on Saturday.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
London kicked off the season with an emphatic 42-24 win against Wakefield, but come into their 4th game off the back of two disappointing losses on the road to Salford Red Devils and Hull Kingston Rovers.
Castleford come into this off the back of a perfect start to the season with two wins from two against Catalans Dragons and Hull FC.
Danny Ward has named an unchanged side for the fourth successive game.
London Broncos 19-man squad: Jordan Abdull, Sadiq Adebiyi, Eddie Battye, James Cunningham, Kieran Dixon, Matt Fleming, Matty Fozard, Matt Gee, Mark Ioane, Elliot Kear, Will Lovell, Nathan Mason, Ryan Morgan, Eloi Pelissier, Jay Pitts, Greg Richards, Alex Walker, Rhys Williams, Luke Yates.
Castleford have fallen foul of injuries so far this season with Mitch Clark, Alex Foster and Ben Roberts being added to the injury list after their game against Hull FC.
As a result, former Broncos Tuoyo Egodo and Matt Cook look set to make a return to the capital to take on their old employers, while Cory Aston and Chris Clarkson are included in the 19-man squad for the first time this season.
Castleford Tigers 19-man squad: Cory Aston, James Clare, Chris Clarkson, Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Tuoyo Egodo, Nathan Massey, Peter Mata’utia, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Junior Moors, Jacques O’Neill, Jordan Rankin, Jesse Sene-Lefaom, Michael Shenton, Jake Trueman, Liam Watts.
HEAD TO HEAD
It’s all square between the two sides in the last five meetings with two each and a thrilling 30-30 draw back in 2013. However, Castleford recorded emphatic 46+ point victories the last two times the sides met in London Broncos’ relegation season (2014). In addition, Castleford hold the advantage over London in all major statistical categories over the last six games, while 7 of the last 10 games between the two teams has produced a total of 60 or more.
Last time out at home Jordan Abdull provided an astute kicking performance to steer London to an opening round win and he’ll need to do the same if Broncos are to stand any chance in this one. On the other hand, while Jake Trueman looks to be excelling in attack for Castleford, they Tigers have a lack of a stand out tactical kicker with Luke Gale sidelined.
They are, however, still tactically gifted with Paul McShane at hooker and haven’t seemed to miss Gale too much so far. The Broncos pack have shown they can mix it with the best in Super League once they get into the game and so the key to winning this one – on the quirky 4G surface – will be the tactical kicking game off the back of both packs’ efforts.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday 23rd February 2019
Venue: Trailfinders Sports Club
Referee: S. Mikalauskas
WHO WILL WIN?
Although London have come unstuck in their last two, they are distinctively better at home and should put up a decent challenge to the travelling Castleford Tigers side and keep it tight for the majority of the game at Trailfinders with the classier Castleford side pulling away at the back end. Castleford Tigers by 10.