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Super League Match Preview: Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers

Date: Thursday July 17

Venue: Headingley Carnegie Stadium

Kick Off: 8PM (GMT)

Teams

Leeds Rhinos: (from) Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leiluai, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Kirke, Achurch, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Walters. (two to be omitted)

Castleford Tigers: (from) Dixon, Shenton, Webster, Carney, Dorn, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Massey, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Finn, Jewitt. (two to be omitted)

Preview

Castleford Tigers will be looking to extend their run of fine form and move to the summit of Super League in their clash with West Yorkshire rivals, Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Thursday night.

The Tigers, who have shaken off their ‘surprise package’ tag to become genuine contenders for a historic league and cup double, are just two points behind league leaders St Helens and their superior points difference will see them move from fifth to the top of the Super League table should they claim a fourth consecutive victory.

The Tigers have beaten Leeds just once in their previous five meetings but this is sure to be a tight clash.

Last time out, Daryl Powell’s side kept pace with the top four by beating last year’s table toppers, Huddersfield Giants, in a thrilling clash at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle when they ran out 44-30 winners.

Despite an inconsistent couple of months, Brian McDermott’s men hold a one-point advantage over the Tigers and sit in second place heading into Round 21 and will go back to the top of the league with a win.

The Rhinos were unconvincing for much of their game against Hull KR last time out, but in the final 20 minutes they stepped up a gear and looked something like their best as they eventually ran out 30-6 winners.

The home side were boosted by the return of Rob Burrow who crossed twice in his first game since April and he will need to be a key figure if Leeds are to do well. But, the same could be said of his opposite number, Marc Sneyd.

Consistently impressive performances have seen the Salford loanee’s stock rise immeasurably this season, so much so that Hull FC have spent a six figure fee to secure his signature for the 2015 campaign. His kicking game and distribution have become a key part of Castleford’s exciting, attacking style of play which will be tested by the team which have the meanest defence in the league.

Prediction

Leeds by 8

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