Thursday night rugby sees the biggest game of the season so far as Castleford make the trip over the Pennines to Warrington . The Tigers top the table after 4 comfortable wins so far , with the Wolves in 3rd after losing their unbeaten record in Perpignan on Saturday .
For all it’s still early days , it’s not until Easter that we see the league develop , I think it’s between these 2 and St Helens for the League Leaders Shield (and probably the Grand final ) so there is plenty at stake here . A defeat for Warrington could see them slip 4 points behind their main 2 rivals for honours .
There is no doubting this is a massive step up in class for Daryl Powell’s side but for all you’d have expected them to win their 4 games so far , you have to be impressed at how they’ve done it , conceding only 44 points (scoring 118) .
The same could be said of Warrington’s 1st 3 games , before the defeat in France . You can’t read too much into that game last week though given the Dragons record at home . Plenty of good sides have come back from Perpignan with nothing .
For all this is a hard game to call I do think the bookies have shown Cas a lack of respect with quotes of over 2/1 to win the game . I think Betfred have the odds about right with the Wolves 1/2 and the Tigers 13/8 . It should be a close high intensity encounter with less than a try in it , Wire may just nick it by 1-5 points but Castleford getting an 8 point start on the handicap has to be the value , especially as a 5 day turnaround from the trip to Perpignan may take it’s toll on the hosts .
Wolves backers can get 10/11 on the half time full time , but fans who think Warrington may tire at the end can get 11/1 that Warrington lead at half time and Cas win at full time .
Eden would be my 1st try pick at 10/1 , with Goodwin at 16/1 being an alternative .
Finally the man of the match , Austin is the obvious favourite at 4/1 but it’s been Ratchford who’s made Wire tick lately and he would be my pick at 5/1. As for the visitors , it’s hard to see past Mcshane , he guides Cas around the park(particularly with Gale missing) and is good value at 8/1 . He’d be my choice in Tigers colours , Liam Watts though is always an interesting outsider .
Huddersfield travel to Wigan on Friday , as always please gamble responsibly .