In what promises to be a thrilling match-up this Friday, Warrington Wolves take on the Castleford Tigers at the Halliwell Jones Stadium (8pm kick-off). The Tigers go into the game in good form following their impressive 44 points to 16 defeat of Super League new boys Leigh Centurions in round one, whilst the home side will also be confident after last weekend’s 27-18 World Club Series win over the Brisbane Broncos. The Wolves will also be looking to right a few wrongs after their round one loss in the South of France to the Catalans Dragons. Both sides will be raring to go, and looking to grind out a win against what is widely believed to be two contenders for a top four finish.
If last year’s results are anything to go by, the game will be an exciting encounter, with both teams possessing players capable of producing edge-of-your-seat, free-flowing rugby league, with interesting match-ups on show across the field. The battle of the two hookers: Castleford’s Adam Milner and Warrington’s Cas old-boy, Daryl Clark, takes centre stage with both having the quality to control the game. In the centres, Michael Shenton is always a threat, with the Cas captain looking impressive following his return from a serious injury last year; whilst Warrington’s strike centre Ryan Atkins came up with a try against Brisbane, and will look to add to his tally this weekend.
Warrington coach Tony Smith is still unable to call upon the services of key players Chris Hill, Stefan Ratchford and Ben Currie, but despite that, the Wolves unchanged squad still looks impressive. Fans will be looking to England international Kevin Brown to lead their team around the park after an outstanding debut last week, whilst a pack containing Ashton Sims, Ben Westwood and Joe Westerman will cause problems for any team. It is yet to be seen how much the win against the Broncos took out of the Wolves, and whether they will be able to replicate the physicality for the full 80 minutes.
For the visitors, Daryl Powell makes just one change to his squad, with hooker Paul McShane serving a one-match ban, youngster Luke Million replaces him. The loss of McShane isn’t ideal for the Tigers, however the inclusion of former Steve Prescott Man of Steel winners Rangi Chase and Zak Hardaker should give the Wolves something to think about. With Luke Gale pulling the strings, Castleford will go into the game confident of returning to Yorkshire with the two points.
Warrington Wolves: Ryan Atkins, Matty Blythe, Kevin Brown, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Dom Crosby, Brad Dwyer, Rhys Evans, Kurt Gidley, Jack Hughes, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Matty Russell, Andre Savelio, Ashton Sims, Joe Westerman, Ben Westwood.
Castleford Tigers: Rangi Chase, Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Luke Gale, Zak Hardaker, Andy Lynch, Nathan Massey, Mike McMeeken, Grant Millington, Luke Million, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Joel Monaghan, Junior Moors, Ben Roberts, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Michael Shenton, Gadwin Springer, Jake Webster.