SL Preview: Castleford v Leeds

Kevin Sinfield returns to the 19-man squad for Leeds, in the week when he confirmed that he will be leaving the Rhinos to play rugby union next season.

Sinfield has missed the last two games, and will be assessed ahead of kick-off by the Rhinos staff.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan misses out with a hamstring problem.

Castleford welcome back forwards Matt Cook and Nathan Massey after suspension.

Coach Daryl Powell’s options in the backs are also boosted by the return of Luke Dorn, who suffered a bad facial cut in the game against Salford recently.

Prediction: Although Cas are sure to be fired up, and in front of a passionate crowd, Leeds may just have too much for them. It will be close and hard-fought, but the Rhinos should win by six points.

Castleford Tigers (19-man squad): Dorn, Clare, Webster, Shenton, Carney, Roberts, Gale, Lynch, Milner, Millington, O. Holmes, Cook, Massey, Boyle, S. Moore, Wheeldon, Finn, Crossley, Gibson.

Leeds Rhinos (19-man squad): Hardaker, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Aiton, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield, S. Ward, Delaney, Achurch, Cuthbertson, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Walters, Yates, Handley.

Stats:

Leeds are undefeated in their last five meetings with Castleford, having won four and drawn one. The Tigers’ last win against the Rhinos was 14-12 at home on 10 February, 2013. Leeds’ Kevin Sinfield has scored points in the Rhinos’ last eleven meetings with Castleford. His run of scoring appearances against the Tigers began with eight goals in a 48-6 away win on 29 April, 2011.

Kevin Sinfield needs three points to reach 4,000 for his career. Sinfield has scored 3,733 points (85 tries, 1,678 goals and 37 field goals) for Leeds since 1997. He has also scored representative points for Great Britain (44 – 2 tries & 18 goals – 2001-2003, 2005 & 2007) and England (220 – 5 tries & 100 goals – 2000-2001 & 2008-2013).

Danny McGuire needs three tries to reach 250 for Leeds. McGuire’s total of 247 touchdowns has been reached in 353 games for the Rhinos since 2001. He has also landed five field goals for Leeds, leaving him seven points short of a total 1,000 for the club.

Rob Burrow needs three points to reach 1,000 for Leeds. Burrow’s total of 997 has been reached with 172 tries, 152 goals and 5 field goals in 415 games for the Rhinos since 2001.

Super League Summary:

Castleford won 11 (includes win in 1999 play-offs)

Leeds won 28 (includes win in 2000 play-offs)

3 draws

Castleford highest score: 38-20 (H, 2008) (also widest margin)

Leeds highest score: 76-12 (H, 2009) (also widest margin)

Last 10 Meetings:

Castleford 10, Leeds 23 (CCF, 23/8/14) (at Wembley Stadium)
Leeds 24, Castleford 24 (SLR21, 17/7/14)
Castleford 14, Leeds 22 (SLR12, 8/5/14)
Leeds 42, Castleford 24 (SLR18, 7/6/13)
Leeds 28, Castleford 12 (CCR4, 19/4/13)
Castleford 14, Leeds 12 (SLR2, 10/2/13)
Leeds 40, Castleford 22 (SLR18, 24/6/12)
Castleford 14, Leeds 36 (SLR5, 2/3/12)
Leeds 56, Castleford 0 (SLR24, 12/8/11)
Castleford 8, Leeds 10 (CCSF, 7/8/11) (at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster)

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