Catalans Dragons host Castleford Tigers as both look to finish the Easter period with an 100% record.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Catalans have played well enough at times and sit sixth in the table. Clear highlights have come with beating both St Helens and Warrington Wolves at Stade Gilbert Brutus. However, the Dragons have been embarrassed on their home patch by Salford and lost in golden point last home match against Hull FC.
The Dragons’ first match during Easter was on Thursday away at London. Steve McNamara’s side ran riot as they led 14-0 at the break. The tough away fixture was finished off in the second half with a fine 39-6 performance.
Castleford played in the other fixture on Thursday night so both sides have had the same length of recovery. In their first Easter fixture, the Tigers hosted Wakefield Trinity in a West Yorkshire derby. Daryl Powell’s side started well and dominated the first half. With just over half an hour remaining the Tigers led 26-4 and looked to have the game wrapped up. But Wakefield fought back, however the Tigers narrowly held on.
They currently sit third in the table.
Full back David Mead and centre Brayden Williame both return to the squad. Williame was given a one match suspension after their last home fixture. Sam Moa is also in line to play after the disciplinary deemed his sin bin against London was sufficient.
Fouad Yaha, Ben Garcia, Matty Smith and Michael McIlorum all missing for the French outfit.
1-2 sentences if needed discussing any milestones that may be made by clubs: number of appearances, needs 1 try to reach 100 etc
Catalans Dragons 19-man squad: Gigot, Mead, Wiliame, Tierney, Langi, Casty, Moa, Edwards, Bird, Bousquet, Simon, Jullien, Whitley, Da Costa, Goudemand, Baitieri, Romano, Kasiano, Tomkins
Daryl Powell is forced into making changes for this fixture. Jesse Sene-Lefao misses as he dislocated his shoulder during scoring against Wakefield on Thursday. Oliver Holmes also misses out due to injury. Young players Calum Turner and Jacques O’Neil both miss out.
The Tigers welcome back Paul McShane after a three match suspension. Tuoyo Egodo, Chris Clarkson and Lewis Peachey all are included in the squad. Peachey would be making his debut if he features.
1-2 sentences if needed discussing any milestones that may be made: number of appearances, needs 1 try to reach 100 etc
Castleford Tigers 19-man squad: Aston, Clare, Clark, Clarkson, Eden, Egodo, Maher, Massey, Mata’utia, McMeeken, McShane, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Peachey, Shenton, Smith, Trueman, Watts
HEAD TO HEAD
The sides met in round one at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle with the hosts coming out on top. Paul McShane opened the scoring in tough conditions. Two tries from Greg Eden along with two McShane penalties was enough to open the season with the two points.
In the last five meetings between these two sides in Perpignan, the Dragons edge the head to head three wins to two. The only meeting last season in France was a comfortable 44-16 win for the hosts. Josh Drinkwater scored a hat-trick, however after twenty minutes Castleford led. A few tries after this put the game to bed and only a consolation try from McShane added some credibility.
The two matches before the last match in France, the Tigers had ran victorious. However, the margin of victory was lower as one fixture was won by eight points and the other by six.
Tony Gigot (Catalans Dragons) v Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers)
Tony Gigot is one of the influential players in the Dragons’ side. Gigot has mixed this season playing in the halves as well as fullback. Gigot has been an important figure in close contests and he will need to be at his if the Dragons are to win. In certain matches he has gone missing and it has been tough for the forwards. However, no side finds it easy to go to the South of France as they clear top two sides in the league have both failed to win.
Jake Trueman has been huge to Castleford ever since his debut last season and it was his inspired performance to complete a home comeback win against Wigan. Trueman attacks to defence and often is around the play the ball as Castleford are a side who like to keep the ball alive and play expansive rugby. Trueman has produced the most attacking kicks in the full league, with him currently sat on 81 which is twenty above Josh Drinkwater in second. Despite only having three try assists and two tries he is often involved in the build up to tries.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Monday April 22nd
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
Kick-off: 5:00 PM
Referee: James Child
WHO WILL WIN?
This is always a tough trip, however at Easter the task does seem to be slightly easier as both sides have had similar preparation. Catalans have beaten some tough opposition at home, but Hull FC and Salford have both overturned them. Injuries to key players will make it difficult. Castleford on the other hand, have been playing well. Jesse Sene-Lefao will be a loss, but the return of Paul McShane will give a huge boost to the side. I think it will be an away victory for the Tigers.