Opposition Overview: Castleford Tigers

Picture by Jack Wray/Super League Europe/via SWpix.com - 06/03/2021 - Super League Season 2021 Pre Season Location Video Shoot and Stills Photography Portraits. Castleford Tigers - Paul McShane

For the third time in 2021, Leeds take on Castleford Tigers in the Betfred Super League this Friday at Emerald Headingley Stadium, kick off 7:45pm.

The match will not be televised so the only way to watch every moment will be by purchasing tickets. Go to tickets.therhinos.co.uk to buy yours now or call our ticket office on 0371 423 1315 (Monday to Friday 10.30am – 3.30pm)

2021 so far..

Castleford made a great start to the 2021 season and were unbeaten in their first three matches to sit joint top of Super League with St Helens and Wigan Warriors. A 22-12 defeat to the current league leaders Wigan though knocked the Tigers out of the top three. They followed this up with a straightforward win against Salford, but in their next game a 77th minute try from Jordan Abdull meant they lost 26-22 to Hull KR – revenge for the Robins who had a month earlier been defeated by Castleford in the Challenge Cup courtesy of an extra time drop goal.

In a rematch with their round one opponents Warrington Wolves, the Tigers lost their second consecutive game as a Gareth Widdop hat trick saw the Wolves win 34-14. A 60 point demolition at the hands of Leeds followed as Daryl Powell’s side approached their Challenge Cup semi final, which they won over Warrington. Elsewhere, the Tigers’ losing streak continued against St Helens, Hull and Catalans, although they did secure a late win over Wakefield to giving Castleford their first league points since April.

Casteford in action against Warrington Wolves. Picture by Paul Currie/SWpix.com

Suspended fixtures against Saints and Huddersfield saw the Tigers suffer a 24-0 defeat and fall further behind Leeds, who are only a place above them in the league table. When they finally returned to action against Salford, a young Tigers side couldn’t withstand the visiting Red Devils, who scored 12 tries at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle. Six days later, Castleford walked out at Wembley against St Helens and despite taking a 12-6 lead at the break, the Tigers couldn’t win Powell the Challenge Cup, falling to a 26-12 defeat. Castleford were back in action on Monday night against Huddersfield Giants; a young Tiger side losing out 34-16 with Jake Sweeting, Brad Graham and Paul McShane scoring the tries.

2021 Squad

Last Four Fixtures

New Signings

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com – 24/09/2020 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League – Hull KR v Leeds Rhinos – Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, England – Hull KR’s Jimmy Keinhorst scores a try against Leeds.

Castleford announced the capture was former Rhinos Jimmy Keinhorst on a two week loan spell prior to their clash with Huddersfield Giants on Monday night.

The centre started his professional career with Leeds back in 2012, scoring 26 tries in 75 appearances and also appeared in the 2015 Grand Final win over Wigan as well as the 2012 Challenge Cup final. He joined Hull KR in 2019 and over three years, has made over thirty appearances. He has also spent a short period at Championship side York City Knights.

The Coach

In his final year as Tigers head coach, in his time at the club Daryl Powell has lifted the club from relegation contenders to League Leaders’ Shield winners during his eight year tenure.

Powell formerly played for Sheffield Eagles, Keighley Cougars, Balmain Tigers, Gold Coast Seagulls and Leeds, winning the Challenge Cup with the latter. While at Keighley, he played as a player coach before joining Leeds in 1997, where he was later appointed head coach in 2001. He took the Rhinos to a 5th, 4th and 2nd place finish over the next three years and also reached the Challenge Cup Final again in 2003, which Leeds lost to 22-20 to Bradford.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com – 07/02/2019 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League – Hull FC v Castleford Tigers – KC Stadium, Kingston upon Hull, England – Castleford coach Daryl Powell

Tony Smith replaced him in 2004 season, but he remained at Headingley to coach Rugby Union side Leeds Tykes. He returned to league in 2008 with Featherstone Rovers. In 2013, he was announced as Castleford’s new head coach and has since gone on to lead the club to a Challenge Cup Final appearance in 2014, a Grand Final appearance in 2017 and the League Leaders’ Shield in the same season. He added a second Challenge Cup Final appearance to his honours list in 2021, when he guided the club back to Wembley last month.

Returning Faces

Four members of Castleford’s 2021 squad could face their former side on Friday night. Paul McShane, Alex Foster and Daniel Smith all came through the Leeds Academy system. 2020 Man of Steel McShane came into the Leeds squad in 2009, after signing from local club Hunslet Parkside. The hooker played 55 times in a Leeds shirt, scoring 12 tries, before being swapped to Wakefield Trinity for Paul Aiton. He later joined Castleford in 2015.

Alex Foster was picked up by the Tigers during their table topping 2017 season, four years after the forward was released by the Rhinos. Daniel Smith, brother of Leeds forward Cameron, didn’t play game for the Rhinos but could also feature in Friday’s game, as well as centre Jimmy Keinhorst.

Rhinos captain Luke Gale will also come up against his former club. The half back made the switch from the Mend-A-Hose to Emerald Headingley in 2020 after five years under Daryl Powell where he helped the Tigers secure the League Leaders’ Shield and a place in the 2017 Grand Final. Last year, he kicked the winning drop goal to help Leeds beat Salford Red Devils in the Challenge Cup Final.

Last Game vs Leeds at Emerald Headingley

After the initial fixture was postponed due to an outbreak of coronavirus in the Castleford camp, Leeds continued their drive for a top four finish with a 28-24 win over the Tigers at Emerald Headingley. Nine days after lifting the Betfred Challenge Cup, the Rhinos edged their local rivals on home turf thanks to a late tries from Tom Briscoe and Rhyse Martin. Liam Sutcliffe, Ava Seumanufagai and former Castleford half back Luke Gale also added to the Rhinos scoreline; Martin adding four goals.

You can watch more classic matches against Castleford at the Emerald Headingley, click here to watch on YouTube.

Get your tickets now!

Tickets for Friday’s clash with the Tigers are still available to buy now.

You can purchase tickets over the phone on 0371 423 1315 (Monday to Friday 10.30am – 3.30pm) or online at tickets.therhinos.co.uk.

For more information on how Emerald Headingley is welcoming back unrestricted crowds, click here.