The first round of the new Super League season was entertaining and dramatic at times and we’re hoping for much more of the same in the second round of games, which begin on Thursday night when the Warrington Wolves host the Castleford Tigers.
The narrative for this one doesn’t need much searching for with Daryl Powell taking on his former club and that might get mentioned once or twice throughout the course of the night. Two vital points are on the line which is probably more important.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena channels. The build-up to the contest begins at 7.30pm and the match itself kicks off at 8pm.
The Warrington Wolves opened up their season with a win against the Leeds Rhinos last week. That on the face of it is a good result but to only win by a couple of points when they played for more than an hour against 12 men probably doesn’t look quite as good. Any opening week win is acceptable though but I’m sure Daryl Powell will know his side has plenty to work on if they are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season.
I think most people expect Warrington to be a real offensive force this season with Powell having gto the Castleford Tigers to be one of the best attacking sides in the league, so all eyes will be on his playmakers to see if they can live up to the hype. If the Wolves are to achieve their potential this term it is likely to be their defence which determines how well they go. There were times against Leeds last week where they looked a little soft and that is a concern.
I would imagine the Castleford Tigers would have been eager to get life without Daryl Powell off to a winning start so that they carried the confidence of that into a first meeting with their former coach here. That plan didn’t really work out though because they surprisingly came up short against a Salford Red Devils who were better than most expected them to be last Friday. It is too early to talk about pressure and things like that but those who have doubts over Lee Radford as a coach after an unsuccessful spell of Hull FC overall certainly haven’t had their knives blunted just yet.
It will be interesting to see how the Tigers develop this season because on the face of it Radford isn’t known for the expansive rugby that Castleford played under Powell and if they try and mix it up the middle they might come up short more often than they come out on top. The one thing the Tigers have going for them in this match is that they shouldn’t be short of motivation. They don’t just come up against their former coach but also the players he took to Warrington with him.
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Oliver Holmes will miss the match against his former club after he was suspended for an incident in the win over Leeds last week. Ben Currie missed out on the sanctions in that match so he is available to feature in this one.
Castleford Tigers will be without a couple of key players with prop Nathan Massey and half-back Danny Richardson both missing out with injury. Young prospects Sam Hall and Cain Robb have been included in the squad for the first time this term.
Matches between these two sides are generally high scoring and with Storm Eunice not due to batter this part of the country until the early hours of the morning I don’t expect the trend to be bucked here. I always think it is hard for the defences to back up in the second week of the season and usually the offensive players get the chance to make plays and are a little bit sharper having got the rust out of their system. We shouldn’t forget that Warrington Wolves are on a short week here either which won’t help matters.
I’m interested in the points line here. We saw last week that Warrington are going to get overloads out wide and with two world class halves in place to open sides up the Wolves shouldn’t lack for points but even with a man less for 60+ minutes Leeds were regularly able to get at the Warrington defence and even though I don’t expect Castleford to be quite as expansive under Lee Radford, their back line looks to have enough quality in it to put points on the board. Over 38.5pts landed in both matches these two were involved in last week and I think it can go over here.
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