After narrowly losing to Catalan in his first game in charge, Daryl Powell will hope to fare better in his first experience of Magic Weekend as a coach, when Castleford Tigers take on Wakefield Wildcats.
The Yorkshire derby is the second fixture of the Super League showpiece at the Etihad Stadium and both teams know that a lot more than just bragging rights is resting on Saturday’s game.
Despite an improved performance against the Catalans, Castleford have the joint lowest points tally in Super League and could be bottom of the table by the end of Magic Weekend, should other results go against them.
Wakefield also lost last time out, as Hull KR ran out 44-8, but the Wildcats still hold hopes of another late surge into the play-offs.
Powell is desperate for Rangi Chase to be involved and will wait on the England international’s late fitness test before name his team. The Tigers coach also hopes to have Weller Hauraki back but Tyrone McCarthy won’t feature after ending his loan from Warrington earlier in the week.
Taulima Tautai is expected to make his debut against Castleford on Saturday after being included in the Wildcats’ 19-man squad. Reece Lyne missed out last week but is back in contention for Magic Weekend.
Castleford Tigers 19-man squad: Owen, Carney, Shenton, Dixon, Chase, Ellis, Walker, Clark, Huby, Hauraki, Millington, Milner, Massey, Holmes, Thompson, Tansey, Fleming, Mason, Boyle.
Wakefield Wildcats 19-man squad: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Smith. L, Cockayne, Smith. T, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Wood, Amor, Wilkes, Lyne, Wildie, Annakin, Tautai.
Prediction: Expect this to be one of the closest encounters of the weekend but Wakefield should edge it – Wakefield win.
Magic Weekend summary:
Castleford: Won 2, Lost 3
Wakefield: Won 2, Lost 4
(Head-to-head: Castleford 1, Wakefield 2)
Super League summary:
Castleford won 16
Wakefield won 18
Castleford highest score: 48-22 (A, 2008) (Widest margin: 44-6, H, 2002)
Wakefield highest score: 54-16 (MM, 2008) (also widest margin)