Season Preview: Castleford Tigers

7th January 2017, 10:12

Castleford

Season Preview: Castleford Tigers

After a few close misses in recent years, Castleford will once again be aiming for a shot at the play-offs.

Despite the departure of 2016's top tryscorer Denny Solomona, Castleford's transfer business suggests that they’ll be looking to compete at the top end of the league come August when the Supers 8s kick in.

The addition of Zak Hardaker could be an inspired switch if he repeats the form he had in 2015 that saw him named Man of Steel.

Newcomers Leigh Centurions are up first at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle before the Tigers face Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos in quick succession.

How do you see Cas’ season going? Will they be the latest team to break into the play-offs and have a shot at the Grand Final?

 

Transfers

In: Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos, loan), Larne Patrick (Huddersfield Giants), Greg Eden (Brisbane Broncos), Jesse Sene-Lefao (Cronulla Sharks), Tuoyo Egodo (London Broncos), Dan Igbinedion (Oxford RL).

Out: Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Luke Dorn (Retired), Frankie Mariano (Featherstone Rovers), Lee Jewitt (Townsville Blackhawks), Ryan Boyle (Halifax RLFC), Ben Crooks (Leigh Centurions, loan).

After six seasons with Leeds Rhinos, Zak Hardaker has linked up with the Tigers.

Assist King: Luke Gale had 46 Super League try assists in 2016.

 

Key Player – Luke Gale

Having finished the 2016 season with 46 Super League assists, Luke Gale will be hoping for a repeat performance in the upcoming campaign.

Castleford will be missing their top try scorer after he switched codes but Gale’s ability to set up tries with ease will allow anyone to cross the white line for four points.

The 28-year old will head into the 2017 campaign off the back of a good showing at the Four Nations for England as well, finishing with a try and two assists in his three games for Wayne Bennett’s side.

 

First six fixtures

Leigh Centurions (H, Sky) Friday February 10, 20.00

Warrington Wolves (A) Friday February 24, 20.00

Leeds Rhinos (H, Sky) Thursday March 2, 20.00

Widnes Vikings (A) Sunday March 12, 15.00

Salford Red Devils (A) Sunday March 19, 15.00

Catalans Dragons (H) Sunday March 26, 15.30


Odds

Man of Steel winner – Luke Gale @ 20/1

Challenge Cup winners @ 12/1

Top Super League try scorer – Joel Monaghan @ 50/1

All odds are from Betfred, the official sponsor of Super League.