Match Preview by Emma Holley
The local derby is here once again, and this time Trinity will take a short trip over to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Friday night to face the Castleford Tigers.
Trinity come into this match on the back of a convincing win against Warrington Wolves last Sunday, and will be hoping to continue their winning form in what is a battle for not only bragging rights; but another two points, and the annual Adam Watene trophy.
The Tigers on the other hand will be looking to return to winning ways, after a disappointing defeat to Catalans Dragons in Perpignan on Saturday.
Both sets of fans should expect a big crowd and an electric atmosphere in front of the Sky cameras, in what is predicted to be a tough, fierce derby contest.
After registering a fantastic and much-needed 18-8 victory on Sunday, Trinity finally got themselves off the mark, and will travel eight miles down the road tonight with a determined mindset.
Josh Wood impressed last week on his home debut, whilst Tom Johnstone produced a stunning trademark try on home soil, which clinched the win for Trinity.
Head coach Chris Chester has named his 21-man squad, where it is possible that the same 17-man squad that played against the Wolves, could be selected.
Looking ahead to Friday night, Chester said:
“This game is just as important as what last week’s game was. They’re both worth two points. I get the hype of the derby, and we want to get another result.
“Good teams play consistently well week in and week out, and we’ve got to make sure now that we’re consistent throughout the year.
“When we work hard consistently, we make ourselves a very hard team to beat. I’m looking forward to Friday – a great rivalry between the two sets of fans.”
On the chance that the same team who sealed a win against Warrington could all play against Castleford, Chester said:
“I think it sends a real good message to the rest of the squad that if you play well, you keep your spot the following week. I think the seventeen that played last weekend deserve another chance this week.”
Commenting on the opposition, Chester admitted the Tigers will be a tough team to beat.
“They’re always very difficult to beat. They’re a top team, they play consistent footy, and they’ve got some really smart halves in Richardson and Trueman.
“They’re a physical side, they’re hard to beat on their own pitch, and we’ve got to play some good, consistent footy to make sure we get the result this week.
“We know the importance of this game. We’re one from two, we’d like to be two from three, and we’ve got a good opportunity to do that on Friday night.”
Daryl Powell’s men will be determined to return to winning ways on Friday night, especially with home advantage.
The Tigers suffered their first defeat of the season last Saturday, going 36-18 down to Catalans. Yet prior to this, Castleford have enjoyed wins over newly-promoted Toronto, and Wigan Warriors.
Castleford welcome back centre Peter Mata’utia after a two match ban, and Jesse Sene-Lefao is named for the first time since Round 1, and is set to feature in this local derby.
Daryl Powell has named a strong side, where Trinity cannot afford to take their neighbours lightly.
The Tigers head coach has also admitted his side need to be better than they were last week, and recognises the threat Trinity can pose.
The ones to watch include long-serving Tiger and captain Michael Shenton, and former Trinity player Paul McShane, as well as the likes of Oliver Holmes, Mike McMeeken and Jesse Sene-Lefao.
Richardson and thriving Jake Trueman also pose a danger in the halves with their expansive play, and NRL star and Samoan international Peter Mata’utia is another player Trinity will be looking out for. And not forgetting prop Liam Watts, who sat near the top of the stats with the most offloads and tackles last season.
Trinity haven’t had the best record against the Tigers in recent seasons, where Castleford have accumulated quite a lengthy winning streak against the club. Yet, this should instil Trinity with the additional motivation to break the curse, and claim bragging rights once more.
The two sides last played one another in mid-July, with Castleford racking up a 16-36 victory at the Mobile Rocket Stadium. They also came face to face in April 2019, where Trinity painfully lost out 28-26, despite an incredible comeback late on in the second half.
Castleford have edged Trinity numerous times, including the 6-11 loss at home to the Tigers last season, and the agonising 2017 24-25 home loss – the infamous late minute Luke Gale drop goal. Other past meetings between the two haven’t been memorable for the right reasons for Trinity over the years, which gives further incentive to overcome this on Friday night.
Trinity last secured a victory against Castleford in 2015, winning 22-24 away, after a late Danny Washbrook try under the sticks up the Tigers’ end of the field. Another notable victory includes the 36-22 win in 2013, where Liam Kay raced down the touchline to score the match-winner on the 79th minute in front of a home crowd; the win meaning Trinity finished a place above the Tigers that year.
Trinity (21-man squad): Johnstone, Tupou, Lyne, Miller, K. Wood, Ashurst, Kirmond, Westerman, Pitts, Kopczak, Batchelor, Tangata, Crowther, Arundel, Jowitt, King, J. Wood, Atkins, Hampshire, Tanginoa, Navarrete.
Tigers (21-man squad): Rankin, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Griffin, Blair, Smith, Clare, O’Neill, Hepi, Turner, Peachey