Super 8s Preview: Castleford v St Helens

Runaway league leaders Castleford kick-off the Super League Super 8s with a home clash against St Helens on Thursday night (8pm).

Daryl Powell’s men are virtually guaranteed a place in the semi-finals and only need to win three of their seven games to secure the League Leaders Shield.

A challenge for them during the Super 8s will be ensuring their standards are kept even with the prize in the bag, to give them momentum for the play-offs and a possible debut Grand Final.

The Tigers welcome back trio Larne Patrick, Oliver Holmes and Adam Milner in place of Kevin Larroyer, Gadwin Springer and Jake Trueman.

Centre Jake Webster isn’t risked through injury.

Powell said: “This is the best possible start for us in the Super 8s because we can not dip our toes into the water against St. Helens with the way they are playing at the moment and I think we are really going to need to be a the top of our game to win this game. They are going to come and challenge us in every department.”

St Helens have been handed a massive boost by the return of scrum half Matty Smith to their squad from injury.

The youngster who has been deputising for the former Wigan, Salford and Crusaders half, Danny Richardson, remains in the 19-man squad and would be unfortunate to miss out given Saints’ recent upturn in form.

Castleford: Hardaker, Minikin, Shenton, Gale, Lynch, McShane, Millington, O Holmes, McMeeken, Milner, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Roberts, Cook, Patrick, Monaghan, T Holmes, Hitchcox, Foster.

St Helens: Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Fages, Smith, Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Thompson, Lee, Peyroux, Knowles, Richardson, Grace, Lees, Taia.

Prediction: St Helens will give a good go of trying to be the first team to win at the Jungle this season, but the Tigers will march on – Cas by 7.


  1. Poor research IMHO and incorrect maths. Castleford probably don’t need to win another game to secure the LL Shield and because they have a 300+ superior points difference they effectively need to win just one game (home to Leeds) to finish top.

    The only way Castleford cannot finish top is if they lose all 7 games and either Hull win all 7, or Leeds win 6.

    • Yours are a little based on assumptions Iain.

      If Leeds win all seven, and Castleford lose all seven, Leeds finish top.

      If Leeds win all seven, and Castleford win six, Leeds finish top.

      If Leeds win all seven and Castleford win five, Leeds could still finish top on points different (however unlikely that might prove to be).

      So to make it absolutely mathematically sure, at this stage, they need to win a maximum of three games from the seven to finish top.

  2. Pretty sure my maths is spot one James.

    Castleford are 10 points ahead (effectively 12 with their unassailable points difference) and each team has just 14 points to play for.

    If Cas played Leeds in the first round (they don’t but that doesn’t matter to the Laws of Probability) and Cas won, they would be 12 points ahead with just 12 to play for. So just that one win will (as I said) be enough… unless, of course, there is a swing in ‘point differences’ of 50+ per round over the other 6 rounds.

    If Cas beat Leeds but lost their other 6 fixtures and Hull won all 7 of theirs, then Hull would be crowned League Champions.

    But lets not rewrite the Laws of Probability James… They ‘Don’t have a Cat in Hulls chance’ 😉

    • But you’re talking about after this weekend Iain, whereas I’m talking about before.

      If Castleford win this weekend and Leeds lose, then of course the situation is different 🙂

      But as things stand, what I’ve said above and also in my comment stands true and is still possible.

  3. I think (and I am happy to stand corrected) there is no such thing as ‘mathematical certainty’ of topping the table until they have the LL Shield in their hands. The reason being the Rugby League Authorities could (as Salford fans found out) find reason to sanction a club with a points deduction. It is that particular straw that Leeds supporters perhaps advised to clutch at.

    The scandal that this year has brought into focus with Castleford’s complete domination, is that the toughest competition to win has been afforded the lowest status. Spectators in other sports can only laugh.

  4. it’s wrong castleford should with that thay played very good thayour beat a lote of teams fmbjl I’m castleford tigers fan from portsmouth fan Powell dose a good job ok

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