Today might just see the biggest game of the season so far as Leeds Rhinos host Castleford Tigers.
A repeat of the 2017 Grand Final, this game of course already has weight to it as a West Yorkshire derby but the fact it is essentially a play-off game a week before the play-offs swing round makes it all the more important.
It’s do or die for both teams. The winner will take the final play-off spot whilst the loser’s season will be over whilst their opponents would be looking ahead to a play-off game against either Catalans or Huddersfield depending on what Salford do this afternoon against Warrington.
But which team has the edge going into today’s huge game? Is it Leeds due to the players Cas have missing or will the pressure on the Rhinos swing things in the favour of the Tigers.
Well last night on Sky Sports St Helens prop Alex Walmsley – a man who knows all about winning big games – had his say on the game.
“I think sometimes, that’s when you get your best performances don’t you: backs against the wall, missing some key players,” Walmsley said, “It’s going to be tough and there’s going to be 17 players there who can work hard for each other and can grind a result if you need to.
“At the end of the day, it’s 80 minutes. If you can score more tries you’re going to win the game and all the pressure won’t be on Castleford it’ll be on Leeds and I think that’s something Leeds will have to deal with.
“Castleford will go into it with no pressure and a lot to play for in the end.”
Meanwhile Leeds Rhinos assistant coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan spoke about what it is about the Tigers that threatens Leeds the most today: “The fact they’re going to be a manifestation of Lee Radford. I think they’re going to come and start strong be really powerful. They’ve been scoring a lot of tries on the edges through Derrell Olpherts. They’re going to have a go right up our middle and it’s going to be an exciting game. It’s a West Yorkshire derby with a lot at stake and we expect Cas to put up a big performance and a big fight.”