MATCH PREVIEW | Leeds Rhinos vs Castleford Tigers

The in-form Tigers meet the struggling Rhinos in Headingley for this West Yorkshire derby. Here’s everything you need to know about this match-up.



Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos come into this game at the bottom of the table, having won only one game this season.

Defeat at the hands of Catalans last week allowed Huddersfield to leapfrog them in the standings.

Castleford Tigers

Castleford will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 42-12 loss to St Helens last week. However, they sit at third in the table and have only lost two games this season.



Leeds Rhinos

Brett Ferres will miss the game as he serves the first of his two game suspension.

There will be no Carl Ablett for the next few weeks after he was ruled out for 4-6 weeks following ankle surgery.

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However, Tui Lolohea, James Donaldson and Harry Newman are all included in the 19-man squad after missing out last week.

Leeds 19-man squad: Walker, Briscoe, Watkins, Hurrell, Handley, Lolohea, Myler, Parcell, Singleton, Merrin, Dwyer, Sutcliffe, Peteru, Oledzki, Jones-Buchanan, Smith, Donaldson, Newman, Holroyd.

Castleford Tigers

The Tigers make just one change from the side that was defeated by St Helens, with Will Maher returning from injury. He replaces Tuoyo Egodo in the 19 man squad.

Maher is yet to play in Super League this season, having torn his pectoral in a pre-season fixture.

Castleford 19-man squad: Clare, Clarkson, Cook, Eden, Foster, Holmes, Maher, Massey, Mata’utia, McShane, Millington, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Rankin, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Trueman, Watts.



Leeds have not beaten Castleford in a league fixture since 2015, having lost the last 11 league games. They also haven’t beaten the Tigers at home since 2013. However, Leeds were victorious in the 2017 Grand Final, as well as the 2014 Challenge Cup Final.

No team has scored more tries for Castleford against Leeds than Michael Shenton, who is in the 19-man squad. The fixture at Elland Road last season produced a quality game that finished 25-24 to the Tigers, after a Leeds second half fightback.



Brad Dwyer (Leeds) v Paul McShane (Castleford)

Paul McShane is regarded as one of the best hookers in Super League and is in the running for the Man of Steel award this season, especially after the changes to the voting system. He has been the standout, consistent player for Castleford this season and gives their attack a dynamic edge. A strong performance from him on Thursday night will go a long way to ensuring victory for the Tigers.

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Brad Dwyer had a solid season last year after moving from Warrington. Now he has unseated Matt Parcell in the starting hooker role but needs to be more commanding if Leeds are to get anything out of this game. The Rhinos have struggled to create chances when going forward this season and need someone to take charge. Who better than the young hooker who has shown flashes of brilliance in the blue and amber?



Date: Thursday 27th March
Venue: Emerald Headingley Stadium
Kick-off: 7.45pm
Referee: Ben Thaler



The smart money will be on Castleford, given the difference in form and the recent history between the two teams.

48-10 to Castleford. 

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