Super 8s Preview: Castleford v Wakefield (Thu)

All eyes will be on the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Thursday night as Castleford look to make history.

Just a draw will be enough to earn the Tigers the Super League League Leaders shield and their first league title in the club’s 91-year history.

Out to spoil the party are Chris Chester’s Trinity, buoyed by their emphatic win over Leeds last week which has put them back in the driving seat for a top four finish.

Super League’s top try scorer Greg Eden is back in the Castleford squad, along with Junior Moors and Andy Lynch.

A sell-out crowd is expected.

Tigers coach Daryl Powell told the club’s official website: “We are obviously in a great position and right in the middle of a Super 8’s competition that could turn into one of the biggest years in the club’s history. 

“We are mindful of everything that is in front of us, and it is important that we keep our feet on the ground but it is also vital that we enjoy the challenges and experiences that are coming up on a weekly basis.

“There should be a big crowd in what is one of the best places to play Rugby League in the world on Thursday night and there is no doubt that the atmosphere will be one that the players of both teams will remember for a very long time to come.”

It shouldn’t be overlooked that Wakefield very much need the points to complete their own fairytale season with the possibility of a trip to Old Trafford.

Their win over Leeds, coupled with St Helens’ loss at Hull, puts Wakefield back in control of their own destiny although there will surely be a number of twist and turns over the final five rounds.

They welcome back former Castleford prop Craig Huby and pacy three-quarter Mason Caton-Brown, in place of Joe Arundel and James Hasson.

Stats:

Castleford have won their last seven meetings with Wakefield, with Trinity’s last win against the Tigers being a 24-22 away victory on 8 February, 2015.

Luke Gale has scored points in his last ten games against Wakefield (8 for Castleford and 2 for Bradford). His scoring streak against Trinity began with a field goal in the Bulls’ 23-10 away win on 20 February, 2014.

Castleford’s Jake Webster has scored tries in the Tigers’ last three meetings against Wakefield (1-2-1).

Last ten meetings:

Wakefield 24, Castleford 25 (SLR21, 6/7/17)
Castleford 42, Wakefield 24 (SLR9, 14/4/17)
Castleford 46, Wakefield 22 (SLS8-R4, 2/9/16)
Wakefield 20, Castleford 46 (SLR23, 24/7/16)
Castleford 40, Wakefield 6 (SLR2, 14/2/16)
Wakefield 20, Castleford 58 (SLR22, 19/7/15)
Castleford 56, Wakefield 16 (SLR16, 31/5/15) (at St James’ Park, Newcastle)
Castleford 22, Wakefield 24 (SLR1, 8/2/15)
Castleford 26, Wakefield 22 (SLR26, 7/9/14)
Castleford 50, Wakefield 12 (SLR13, 18/5/14) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)

Super League summary

Castleford won 27
Wakefield won 20
Castleford highest score: 58-20 (A, 2015) (Widest margin: 56-16, MW, 2015)
Wakefield highest score: 54-16 (MM, 2008) (also widest margin)

Squads:

Castleford: Cook, Eden, Foster, Gale, Hardaker, Hitchcox, Holmes, Lynch, Massey, McMeeken, McShane, Millington, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Roberts, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Webster.

Wakefield: Annakin, Arona, Ashurst, Caton-Brown, England, Fifita, Finn, Grix, Hadley, Hirst, Huby, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Kirmond, Lyne, Miller, Tupou, Williams, Wood.

Prediction:

Trinity can’t spoil Castleford’s big day, can they? Tigers by 10.

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