Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers: Preview

Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers

Castleford will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of the Super League table when they travel to the Huddersfield Giants on Thursday night.

The Tigers responded to back-to-back defeats with a resounding victory over the Wigan Warriors last time out, with Luke Gale playing an instrumental role as they ran out 54-4 winners.

Questions were asked about their title credentials after defeats to St Helens and Hull FC, but Daryl Powell’s side certainly answered their critics with that display, and will be looking to build on that performance for this week’s trip to the Giants.

It won’t be easy a task for the Tigers though, as Huddersfield claimed a surprise 31-12 victory against the Leeds Rhinos last week.

Sebastian Ikahihifo claimed the man of the match award as the Giants produced a gutsy display to grab their first league win since February and take the pressure off coach Rick Stone.

He will be hoping last week’s victory can act as a catalyst in their bid to avoid finishing in the bottom four for a second consecutive year, and they will be eager to cause an upset against the Super League’s early pace setters.

The Giants have included Sam Rapira and Nathan Mason in their 19-man squad, replacing Mikey Wood and Matthew English.

Gene Ormsby also claims a spot after Jermaine McGillvary was called up to the England squad.

England’s match with Samoa has also had an impact on Castleford, as international call-ups see them without star scrum-half Luke Gale, Zak Hardaker and Mike McMeeken.

The Tigers are also missing Ben Roberts after he strained his groin in the win against Wigan.

In their absence, coach Daryl Powell has been forced to recall Tom Holmes, Kevin Larroyer and Kieran Gill from their loan clubs, while Alex Foster could be set for his debut after recently signing for the club on a deal till the end of the season.

Despite missing a number of key players, Castleford still possess plenty of quality and their expansive playing style means they will pose a huge threat to a vulnerable Huddersfield defence.

Having won the last three meetings between the two sides and after comprehensively seeing off Wigan last week, the Tigers should have too much for the Giants.

Huddersfield Squad: Jake Mamo, Aaron Murphy, Danny Brough, Sam Rapira, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Shannon Wakeman, Dale Ferguson, Kruise Leeming, Seb Ikahihifo, Olly Roberts, Paul Clough, Nathan Mason, Daniel Smith, Gene Ormsby, Sam Wood, Darnell McIntosh, Jared Simpson, Alex Mellor, Adam O’Brien.

Castleford Squad: Rangi Chase, Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Alex Foster, Kieran Gill, Tom Holmes, Kevin Larroyer, Andy Lynch, Nathan Massey, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Greg Minikin, Adam Milner, Joel Monaghan, Junior Moors, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Gadwin Springer, Michael Shenton, Jake Webster.

Prediction: Huddersfield 18-32 Castleford