Cas vs Wire: Match Preview

Posted: Thursday 16th September 2021 - 11:00 AM


The Tigers’ bid for play-off places will all be decided on Thursday night, and it is simple, win and they are in the post-season hunt for Old Trafford, but a loss will end their season.

The game is scheduled for a 7.45pm kick-off at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle and will be shown live on Sky Sports Arena.

  • ALL-OR-NOTHING

The regular season comes down to 80 minutes of rugby league action, the Tigers lost an intense encounter last weekend against Hull KR to secure a spot in the top-six so will be extremely hungry to get the job done against the Wolves.

Only a win will do, if the Fords do it then they are in the play-off hunt next week and would travel to Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday, 24th September for the first round of the post-season.

  • THE END OF AN ERA

Thursday’s game promises to be a huge night, full of drama and emotion especially for those Castleford players who will serve their final home league match in a Tigers jersey. Jesse Sene-Lefao, Peter Mata’utia, and Alex Foster will all be moving on for next season. Oliver Holmes, who has been with Cas since he was 15-years-old, will unfortunately not take to the field for the game due to a neck injury – but will be given the chance to speak to supporters following the match.

A guard of honour before kick-off will be formed for two retiring stalwarts of Castleford Tigers. It was revealed this week that club captain Michael Shenton will be hanging up his boots at the end of the season, following his prolific career at the Tigers across sixteen years. Grant Millington, arguably the greatest overseas player in the club’s history, will also be retiring at the end of 2021.

To add to the sentiment of the match, Thursday also marks Daryl Powell’s final home match as Head Coach of the Tigers after eight years in charge.

We encourage supporters to stick around following the match, there will be a team photo at the Wheldon Road End of the stadium at the end of the game, and then our players and coaches who are moving onto pastures new will be addressing the Fords faithful.

  • GET YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE / BUY ON THE GATE

Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets online for ease of use by visiting castlefordtigers.com/tickets, or head to our Stadium Store/Ticket Office on Wheldon Road ahead of the game.

Supporters can purchase tickets via card by heading to Gate 14 by the training pitch at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle. Cash turnstiles are available on Gates 9 and 10 in the Princess Street side of the stadium.

  • TIGERS TEAM NEWS

Liam Watts is back from his two-match suspension, whilst Paul McShane is in contention after suffering an ankle knock in the Magic Weekend match against Salford. Grant Millington is back in the squad and so is Cheyse Blair after missing out in the last round. Gareth O’Brien could also feature after suffering a neck issue.

  • THE OPPOSITION

The Wire’s third-place spot was secured on Saturday following George Williams’ dramatic golden point winner against Salford and confirmed their place in the play-offs. Warrington has named a strong squad, with big forwards Mike Cooper and Joe Philbin back in contention, whilst star half George Williams appears to have settled well into his new club.

Warrington and Cas have already faced one another three times in 2021, the Tigers holding a 2-1 advantage following their victories in the opening round of Super League, and that standout victory in the Challenge Cup semi-final. The Wolves win coming against a scratch Fords side at their own stadium back in May.

  • KEY BATTLES

Liam Watts vs Mike Cooper – two big men colliding, with Watts returning from suspension, and the senior forward wanting to lead from the front in this all-important game, Cooper will be sure to meet him in the middle of the field

Niall Evalds vs Stefan Ratchford – the fullbacks who are both in good form, Niall shone in the defeat against Hull KR last week scoring twice, and Ratchford is highly consistent – both pivotal to their side’s play

Danny Richardson vs George Williams – both love to attack, Richardson found his form following Wembley and Williams appears to have settled well into life with Wire – their kicking games could prove the difference

  • THE SQUADS

Castleford Tigers 21-man squad: 1. Niall Evalds, 2. Derrell Olpherts, 3. Peter Mata’utia, 4. Michael Shenton, 7. Danny Richardson, 8. Liam Watts, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Grant Millington, 12. Cheyse Blair, 13. Adam Milner, 14. Nathan Massey, 15. George Griffin, 17. Alex Foster, 19. Tyla Hepi, 20. James Clare, 21. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 22. Daniel Smith, 24. Suaia Matagi, 25. Jordan Turner, 26. Lewis Bienek, 31. Gareth O’Brien.

Warrington Wolves 21-man squad: 1. Stefan Ratchford, 2. Tom Lineham, 5. Josh Charnley, 6. Blake Austin, 7. Gareth Widdop, 8. Chris Hill, 10. Mike Cooper, 11. Ben Currie, 12. Jack Hughes, 13. Joe Philbin, 14. Jason Clark, 17. Matty Ashton, 18. Jake Mamo, 19. Rob Mulhern, 20. Sitaleki Akauola, 23. Josh Thewlis, 25. Eribe Doro, 26. Ellis Longstaff, 27. Connor Wrench, 31. George Williams, Tom Whitehead.

  • POWELL’S PREVIEW

It will be an emotional evening for Head Coach Daryl Powell, but he insists his focus remains firmly on the task at hand which is getting that play-off spot.

“There is no doubt that it will be emotional because at some point it hits you. It will mean a lot because my family hasn’t been able to come to many games since Covid so they will all be here.

“I am proud that I have been able to make them proud of the job that I have done at this club, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I want to make sure it doesn’t end here and that is the important thing.”

WATCH Powell’s chat ahead of the game in full on Tigers TV

  • WATTS: “IT IS A MASSIVE GAME”

Ready and raring to go, Liam Watts described the game against Warrington on Thursday as ‘the most significant game of the year’.

“It’s the beauty of the sport that you can play all year but somehow every year it comes down to three teams fighting it out for the play-offs. We were in there last year and we missed out so we know what it feels like and there is no way that we want to be one of those teams waiting for a call-up because of Covid.

“It’s not just our last home game of the season, it is more than that. There are people leaving and our season is on the line, it is a massive game.”

WATCH Wattsy’s chat with the press on Tigers TV

  • HOW TO WATCH AND GET INVOLVED

 Watch Castleford versus Warrington live and in-person by getting your tickets easily online at castlefordtigers.com/tickets

The game will also be broadcast on Sky Sports Arena, channel 408 on Sky from 7pm.

Cheer the Tigers on via social media using the hashtags: #ReadyToRoar and #COYF

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