A troubled week in the Super League starts off on Thursday evening when two sides who were in Challenge Cup action last week collide at The Jungle when finalists in that competition Castleford Tigers take on Hull FC.
Some matches later in the week have already been cancelled as the Covid-19 pandemic hits the competition once again but we have the all clear for these two passionate sides to face off against each other to get another round underway.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live in full on the Sky Sports Action channel with the programme beginning at 7pm and the action kicking off at 7.45pm. For those without Sky the match is also being streamed live on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.
The Castleford Tigers will go into this match buoyed by their emphatic and dominant win over the Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup semi-final last week and while that gives them something to look forward to next month, I’m sure they want to be competitive in Super League too so it is important that they don’t look too far ahead and that they keep their eyes on the ball over the next five weeks or so.
If they are going to be competitive in the Super League then they need to get a win here because their form prior to the semi-final last week was terrible. They conceded 60 points in their last Super League game and although players are back now, they have to guard against the Lord Mayors Show sort of performance. As we saw last week though, at their best Castleford are a match for anyone in the competition so that is their task here – to be at their best.
On the flip side of all that, Hull FC go into this match having suffered the heartache of losing in the Challenge Cup semi-final last week. They will have carried a lot of disappointment out of that match, notably the fact that they had a terrible 20 minutes in the first half where they managed the game poorly and invited St Helens onto them. While there is no doubt that this Hull FC defence has improved, they still can’t afford to lose their discipline and gift teams possession.
It will be interesting to see how Hull FC approach this match mentally. Will there be a hangover from Saturday or will they use the defeat as motivation to make sure they go all the way in this competition. If it is the latter then we can expect them to play close to their best here, in which case they are going to be extremely tough to beat. If it is the former and they feel sorry for themselves this could be a long night, especially if they allow Castleford to get on top early.
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Castleford Tigers go into this match without a number of stars from the win over Warrington at the weekend. Niall Evalds and Jake Trueman are huge losses while Cheyse Blair, Daniel Smith and Gareth O’Brien all miss out. Danny Richardson and George Griffin return though.
Hull FC will be forced into a change with Josh Griffin out for the season after his wretched injury picked up in the semi-final loss last weekend. Mitieli Vulikijapani has come back from his loan spell at York to take his place in the squad.
I wasn’t going to get massively involved in this match but those absentees for Castleford Tigers have to swing this one in the favour of Hull FC in my eyes. Evalds and Trueman are their two biggest creative forces and I just don’t think Hull are going to be naïve enough to let the Tigers keep gaining ground on the right side of their defence like Warrington Wolves were in the Cup last week. We could go back to the time before the semi-finals when Castleford were getting drubbed here.
Hull FC are going to be smarting from their defeat last week. It wasn’t so much that they lost the match but it was how the contributed to St Helens getting away from them and then when it looked like they were about to go and win the tie they handed the game to Saints again. I expect a much cleaner performance from them here and a dominant one in light of the missing players for Castleford. Hull FC -4 will do me in this one.
Back Hull FC (-4) to beat Castleford Tigers for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with Bet365