Jamie Peacock and Brent Webb should both be back in the staring line-up for tonights match after the former was rested and the latter failed a last minute fitness test. After failing to inspire last week Greg Eastwood makes his long anticipated home debut and hopefully will try a little less hard to impress and settle into his game. Luke Burgess is named in a very strong looking nineteen but could be one of those to miss out along with Watkins.
Conditions should be better than last week although it is likley to be heavy underfoot after heavy rain on an already saturated pitch. That said I am looking forward to seeing Hall and Donald benefit from their respective centres, these two could be neck-and-neck for top try scorer in 2010. The nineteen names fighting for a place on Blueys teamsheet are; Webb, Donald, Delaney, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauitiiti, Sinfield, Diskin, Eastwood, Bailey, Ablett, Burgess, and Watkins.
Terry Matterson will give a Tigers Superleague debut to ex-Wildcat Steve Snitch and brings in youngster John Davies after losing Ryan Clayton to an injury picked up in training. There is quality in the Castleford nineteen but you have to look pretty hard to find it. Westerman is always one to watch and Snitch will add some steel but there just doesn't look to be enough there to threaten us. Mattersons nineteen is; Owen, Shenton, Evans, Wainwright, Chase, Sherwin, Sargent, Hudson, Huby, Ferres, Snitch, Westerman, Jones, Higgins, Jackson, Netherton, Davies, McGoldrick, and Widders.
Three Tigers to watch;
Ian Smith takes charge of a game which the bookies think the Rhinos will win by 16 points, but that won't dent the enthusiasm of those from down the road in Cas who will be looking forward to the start of the season and a night in the big smoke.
The last time the Tigers visited Headingley was a nightmare for them as we won 76-12 in our biggest win for a decade. That was a night when Ryan Hall got a five-try haul and captain Kev kicked ten goals and we scored fifty points in the second half. That result was a marked contrast to our visit to The Jungle earlier in the season where a last gasp dodgy penalty saw us win by a narrow 24-22. Castleford beat us as recently as March 2008 when they taught us a 20-38 lesson on their patch.
It should be a great crowd for the game tonight with the Tigers supporters braving the rain on the western terrace to get behind their team as the season gets started. The forecast is for plenty of the wet stuff.
The Predicitions Prize Money thread for sponsors 'bet' is now on and would net the prize fund £63.93. More importantly the two points will cement our place at the top of the pile and get our season off to the perfect start.
See you there and enjoy the game.