Leeds Rhinos play host to neighbours Castleford Tigers tonight in a crucial First Utility Super League derby. Here are five talking points ahead of the game.
1: Leeds fans like to joke about the trip to Headingley being Castleford’s cup final. The positions are reversed tonight, when defeat would virtually end Rhinos’ top-eight hopes.
2: Tigers look the more resilient of two injury-hit teams. Their performance against Salford in the Challenge Cup last week showed what can be achieved with a makeshift lineup.
3: Key men at Castleford are being linked with Rhinos. Scrum-half Luke Gale is a Rhinos academy product and Daryl Powell is regarded by some in the game as the obvious successor to Brian McDermott if or when he leaves Headingley.
4: Tonight will be Castleford lad Rob Burrow’s 400th Super League appearance for Leeds.
5: Castleford are aiming for a fourth successive win over Leeds. They won twice at Headingley last year, in Rhinos’ treble-winning season, but the overall Super League record between the teams is 29 wins for Leeds, 14 for Cas and three draws.