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Visiting Our Country Cousins
Posted by southstander on February 08 2013 - 15:11:59

Party Time
Round two sees us of down the road to visit our country cousins for their Cup Final.

Last week, a second half comeback saw them escape from the Haliwell-Jones with some scoreline respectibility, but in the first-half they had been run ragged by the champions elect.

This week Castleford take on the real champions, fresh from a comprehensive win over the pretenders from Humberside.

We preview the game, read more here...

When new signing Joe Vickery limped out of Friday nights game and into an, as yet, unknown period of rehabilitation, it gave Brian McDermott a bit of a headache on the wing. Ben Jones-Bishop is making good progress as he recovers his fitness but is still some way from contact training. The coach is likely to shuffle his backs pushing Watkins onto the wing and Ablett into the centres. Leuluai is included in the squad, but as he was due to be loaned out on dual-code as 'not quite ready' I doubt he'll figure. Jimmy Keinhorst is back in contention too after scoring two tries last weekend on load at Hunslet against Barrow.

McDermott has named his ninteen as; Hardaker, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, and Keinhorst.

Basil had an awful first season at Castleford, both on a personal and professional level. To try and gain some credibility in 2013 he's been allowed to splash the cash and has made eight signings. He's captured the signatures of; Justin Carney (Sydney), Jordan Tansey (York), Lee Gilmour (Huddersfield), Jamie Ellis (Hull FC), Michael Shenton (St Helens),Jake Webster (Hull KR), Keith Mason (Huddersfield) and our own Weller Hauraki. There is plenty of quality there, and if last weeks 'game of two halves' is anything to go by they look much more dangerous that any side that the Tigers put out last season.

Millward names a nineteen of; Owen, Carney, Shenton, Webster, Chase, Ellis, Walker, Clark, Huby, Gilmour, Hauraki, Millington, Milner, Massey, Holmes, Thompson, Tansey, Fleming, and Mason.

The Rhinos won both Castleford derbies lasat season. An early March visit to the now 'Wish Communications Stadium' ended in a 36- 14 Rhinos victory thanks to a Ryan Hall hat-trick. The Tigers got a bit closer in June when Leeds won 40-22 with Hall, Jones-Bishop and Burrow all bagging braces.

Since the start of the Superleague Era the Rhinos have won on twenty-five occasions, the Tigers have picked up nine wins and two games (Superleagues II and IV) have been drawn. The last time that the Rhinos were defeated at Wheldon Road was six years ago in Superleague XII when a Scott Donald hat-trick was the only highlight in a humiliating 20-38 loss.

Castleford have lost their last eight competitive games, Leeds have won their last five.

Southstander.com Prediction
Tigers 08 36 Rhinos

Cas have been given a fourteen point start on the handicap coupon but I don't think that it will be enough. Both sides need to have better first halves than they did last week and if both play at the pace they did in their respective second halves then we could be in for a belter.

There is still a chance that the weather will spoil, or at least effect, proceedings. There is a seventy percent chance of rain/snow on Sunday and if it falls as the latter then there is a chance that the game could become a winter casualty. The temperature is not forecast to get up above three degrees during the day so wrap up warm, let the Castleford fans swing their shirts above their heads!

Enjoy the game.

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