Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Wildcats: Derby battle ‘will throw form book out the window’

Castleford's Josh Griffin.
Castleford's Josh Griffin.
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Rival coaches Ian Millward and Richard Agar expect the form book to count for nothing when struggling Castleford Tigers play host to on-song Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday.

Cas have lost four of their last five games, while Wildcats are on the back of successive wins over top-eight sides Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos.

But Tigers boss Millward insisted his side are “pretty positive about this week” and he stressed: “We are very much up for this game.

“We are one-all against Wakefield this year, it is a derby and there’s going to be a fair bit of emotion involved.

Record

“We have a plan of attack, we know what we want to do and we’re confident that if we do it we will win the game.

“They are in good form. They were very good on Monday night and they have a good record at our ground, but I expect there to be a lot of fight in us.”

Opposite number Agar has a similar view.

He said: “We’re on the back of some good form and we can go into the game in good spirits, but we also know that’s not going to count for much this week.

“We’re not reading too much into their results. They’ve had a lot of injuries and disruption and their backs are to the wall.

“They have a passionate, vociferous home crowd and I think they’re going to bring a lot of emotion to the game.

“We are still striving to get our performance levels up, but over the last couple of games we have defended more consistently than we have done throughout the season.”

Millward will select from the players who lost 40-16 at Wigan eight days ago, plus Josh Griffin, pictured above – who has recovered from a stomach illness – and Jamie Ellis (dead leg).

Danny Orr is included in the initial squad despite suffering a leg injury at Wigan.

Fellow half-back Rangi Chase underwent knee surgery on Wednesday and could miss the rest of the season.

Wildcats will welcome back Ali Lauitiiti, who missed Monday’s 38-18 win over Leeds due to a one-game ban.

He replaces the suspended Oliver Wilkes and Isaac John and Matt James are likely to again be unused reserves.

Castleford Tigers: from Owen, Williams, Thompson, Griffin, Youngquest, Ellis, Orr, Jackson, Milner, Huby, Snitch, Millington, Emmitt, Jones, Holmes, Hudson, Nash, Mitchell, Massey.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: from Mathers, Fox, Collis, L Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T Smith, Amor, Ellis, Raleigh, Mariano, Kirmond, Washbrook, Wood, Lauitiiti, Johnson, Trout, John, James.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).

Kick-off: Sunday, 3.30pm.

Jy Hitchcox scores the first of his two dramatic tries against Catalans Dragons last night. Picture: Matthew Merrick.

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