Castleford vs Hull
7:45pm Thursday 5th September
The Mend-A-Hose Jungle
Super League play-off hopefuls Hull and Castleford will place their time when they meet in the Jungle on Thursday, live on Sky Sports.
Victory for Whites and its fifth-placed Black, who are just two points above their hosts, would clinch a play-off spot with a game to spare and end the Tigers’ campaign.
A triumph for Daryl Powell’s men would allow them to replicate their opponents to the top five courtesy of a superior points difference and set up a round.
“It’s massive for both teams,” explained Castleford’s former Hull full-back Jordan Rankin. “There’s no hiding from this.
“I think this season generally has been more exciting than it has been within the last few decades.
“With the shift of the arrangement, you’re now seeing with an exciting battle in the bottom of the table along with an exciting battle between those third, fourth, fourth and sixth positions as well.
“it is a whole lot nearer than it’s been. You may be sitting then and in the top five by the weekend if you lose you could find yourself in mid-table.
“It is an exciting brand for rugby league for part of and that also I think that it’s only likely to get better .”
They have an impressive away record, which contains a 31-18 victory, although hull have stumbled winning only one of the last four matches.
Along with Lee Radford’s side seem set to be boosted by the return from injury of stand-off Albert Kelly, who watched a hat-trick of tries in that triumph over the Tigers three weeks ago.
“I know Albi quite well and I’d imagine he’ll play because he gets up to the huge matches,” said Rankin. “They obviously want him to perform so we’ll prepare as if he’s playing.
“They are a dangerous team, they’ve always been a dangerous team. They have got some players who can do any damage to you in the event that you let them”
Among them is currently set to become victims of those late Moses out of Salford and Wigan although for a lot of the year, both teams looked sure to finish in the top five.
By winning four of their last six matches, castleford have maintained themselves and trainer Powell is convinced they can still make an impact.
“It’s almost like a one-piece match,” he explained. “If you’re going to win anything, you have got to win those knockout games.
“If we can, it is going to go down to the previous weekend and that is what it is about, who is going to hold their nerve and come up with their best performances as it really matters.
“If we manage it, then it will be an incredible work and then you’re a couple of games off of doing something particular.
“We believe we are able to do this but it boils down to a single game. We’ve got to do that 1 right, otherwise you will be finishing early and we have not done that for a short time.”
Castleford Tigers 19-man group: Cheyse Blair, James Clare, Matt Cook, Jamie Ellis, Oliver Holmes, Will Maher, Nathan Massey, Peter Mata’utia, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin,Jordan Rankin, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Daniel Smith, Jake Trueman, Calum Turner, Liam Watts
Hull FC 19-man squad: Jamie Shaul, Bureta Faraimo, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Josh Bowden, Mark Minichiello, Jake Connor, Masi Matongo, Brad Fash, Sika Manu, Mickey Paea, Jack Logan, Gareth Ellis, Ratu Naulago, Tevita Satae
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