Stats Pack: Castleford Tigers
Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com - 28/05/2021 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 8 - Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos - the Mend A Hose Jungle, Castleford, England - Leeds Rhinos' Brad Dwyer scores a try
The Rhinos complete their third match in eight days tonight when they face local rivals Castleford Tigers for the third time in 2021. Both teams come into the game off the back of defeats and results are needed as Leeds look to climb the table and Ca Leeds Rhinos are back at Emerald Headingley for consecutive home games, starting this evening against Warrington Wolves, kick off 7:30pm.
Before the teams run out, here are some of the key stats, figures and facts about both Richard Agar and Steve Price’s sides.
Team Head to Head
Coming into tonight’s game off the back of defeats in the league, both Leeds and Castleford look to get back to winning ways in their third clash of the season. Castleford took the first meeting between the two sides 18-10 in round two before Leeds got revenge with a 60-6 demolition of Daryl Powell’s side at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, meaning tonight’s clash has more than pride on the line. In terms of the league table, tonight’s game is huge too as the Rhinos can close the gap on the top four with two points while Castleford, who have a game in hand on Leeds, can close the gap to the Play Off places.
Despite their defeat to Warrington, Leeds still remain as one of the top scorers in the competition. Richard Agar’s side sit third in tries scored this season and also third on goals, with Rhyse Martin leading the way with 57. Leeds have also made the second highest number of tackle busts and clean breaks, thanks to the work of Harry Newman, Konrad Hurrell, Mikolaj Oledzki, who isn’t available for this game, Tom Briscoe, Liam Sutcliffe and more. Four Rhinos players sit in the top twenty for clean breaks this season. The Rhinos’ downfall though continues to be their error count; they have the second most errors behind Wakefield in 2021.
Due to a mixture of postponed fixtures and matches that have been suspended, Castleford’s 2021 statistics are lower than expected for a team on the brink of the Play Offs. Only 48 tries have been score by the Tigers this season, most of which have come from Jordan Turner (8) and Derrell Olpherts (6). Castleford’s strengths have been in their outside backs, whether it be Olpherts, Michael Shenton (who isn’t available tonight) or Lance Todd trophy winner Niall Evalds, who is the leading try assister for the Tigers this year. Head coach Daryl Powell welcomes back the likes of Peter Mata’utia, Danny Richardson, Grant Millington and Oliver Holmes to his 21-player squad in time for the match as they look for their first win in five league matches.
Castleford’s Top Performers
8 Tries (17th in SL)
23 Goals (9th in SL)
1812 Metres (6th in SL)
26 Offloads (3rd in SL)
181 Carries (18th in SL)
Key Head to Head
Two Pacific Islanders will collide on the Emerald Headingley pitch tonight in Jesse Sene-Lefao and Zane Tetevano. Both know each other from the NRL but it will be the third time they have faced each other in Super League.
Tetevano played his first game in front of a Leeds crowd on Sunday against the Wolves, which was also his sixth game for the club. Signed at the start of the 2021 campaign, the New Zealand and Cook Island international made an explosive start to his career in blue and amber by making 30 tackles and 87 metres against Wakefield in round one. Against the Tigers in round two, he made 120 metres in one of his best performances before backing that performance up at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle in Leeds’ 60-6 win as one of the Rhinos’ stand out players.
Sene-Lefao is back in contention for Powell after missing Monday night’s defeat to the Giants. Like Tetevano, the forward has faced the Rhinos in both matches so far this season, making an average of 76 metres, nine carries and 21 tackles. As one of the Tigers’ most experienced forwards, he has made a total of 593 metres in 83 carries (averaging 7.14 metres gained) and also made 212 tackles. His last appearance in the defeat to Salford saw him record some of his lowest figures as he was part of a young Tigers side. He was also coming into the match off the back of an injury.
Stats Standout from Round 17: Leeds Rhinos
Centre Harry Newman has continued his great form since returning from a double leg break and Sunday’s clash with Warrington was no different.
Highlighted after his return against Catalans for his impressive numbers, Newman has built back up to his best with eye catching performances against Salford and Hull FC. Continuing his role inside Ash Handley against the Wolves, Newman had his best game statistically since the win over the Red Devils. In the clash with Warrington, he scored two of Leeds’ three tries, including one going into the last ten minutes when he cut back inside on a great line and found a hole in the twelve-man Warrington defence to score under the posts.
Only Handley and Josh Charnley made more metres than Newman throughout the 80 minutes and the centre beat his opposite number Jake Mamo in carries too (Mamo making 11 while Newman made 18). His 18 carries is also the highest number of carries Newman has made so far this season while his metres count is just behind the match against Salford, when he made 150 metres. He also made two clean breaks, taking his tally to three for the season and also took his total of tackle busts up to 14.
Stats Standout from Round 17: Castleford Tigers
As the Tigers returned to action on Monday night against Huddersfield, despite Daryl Powell’s side being without a number of key players it was one of their stalwarts Nathan Massey that led the line.
Without the likes of Liam Watts, Grant Millington, Oliver Holmes and more, Massey was one of Castleford’s most senior players on the field and inspired the younger forwards around him in both attack and defence. He made the most carries out of any player in the match with 21 (the nearest Tigers forward was Brad Graham with 15 carries) and winger Derrell Olpherts was the only Castleford player to beat Massey in metres (Olpherts making 180 to Massey’s 170). He also made two tackle busts.
Defensively, Massey and youngster Cain Robb led Tigers in tackles. The veteran, who signed a two year contract with the club earlier in the year, made 40 tackles; the highest bar Robb, who made 51. He was also efficient, only missing three tackles, compared to Robb’s seven, and also made nine from marker.
Castleford’s Adam Milner can reach a Super
League milestone against the Rhinos.
If he is selected by coach Powell, the
hooker could play his 250th league
game, having made 249 appearances
for the Tigers over eleven years.