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Super League match preview: Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos
The fixture list has not been kind to Castleford with Super League champions Leeds Rhinos next up for the Tigers.
Ian Millward's men kicked off the campaign with a tough trip to Warrington Wovles and while they were put to the sword early on they did go down fighting in a 40-24 loss.
Brian McDermott's Leeds were being held by Hull FC at Headingley for 55 minutes before a late collapse from the visitors from East Yorkshire saw the home side prevail 36-6.
Leeds have won their last six meetings against the Tigers, while Castleford have lost four straight league matches at home to their neighbours - their last success being a 38-20 win back in 2008.
Castleford head coach Ian Millward has brought Wales international forward Dan Fleming into his squad. Kirk Dixon remains sidelined with a calf muscle tear.
Ex-Leeds second rower Weller Hauraki is one of five players making their home debuts while full-back Jordan Tansey will also be facing his former club.
"There's no better feeling than playing Leeds Rhinos here at Cas, especially when the fans are all fired up for it," said centre Michael Shenton.
"It feels like a bigger game than normal playing Leeds, who are the champions, but we can't get too carried away with the occasion. If we show the patience we showed during parts of the game against Warrington, we won't go far wrong."
Leeds have called up German youngster Jimmy Keinhorst in place of injured winger Joe Vickery, who departed the field in the first half of his Super League debut against the Black and Whites.
Prop Kylie Leuluai has also been included in McDermott's initial squad after he was prevented from playing for Hunslet Hawks on dual-registration terms.
Jamie Peacock, who joined Leeds from Bradford in 2006, is set to make his 200th appearance for the club while Danny McGuire has scored 22 tries in 19 games against the Tigers.
"We had a couple of good results against Castleford last year, but we had to overcome periods in the game where they came strong," McDermott told the club's official website.
"I don't think they are a one-man team, but he does have a big influence over their attack," he concluded referring to England international Rangi Chase.
Castleford: Owen, Carney, Shenton, Webster, Chase, Ellis, Walker, Clark, Huby, Gilmour, Hauraki, Millington, Milner, Massey, Holmes, Thompson, Tansey, Fleming, Mason.
Leeds: Hardaker, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Keinhorst.
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First Utility Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||3||2|
|10||Salford Red Devils||3||2|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield Wildcats vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th March|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Hull K R|
|Thursday 12th March|
|20:00||Huddersfield vs Castleford|
|Friday 13th March|
|20:00||Warrington vs Leeds|
|20:00||Wigan vs Hull|
|20:00||Widnes vs St Helens|
|First Utility Super League|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Widnes Vikings 16 - 58 Wakefield Wildcats|
|Hull K R 22 - 20 Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Salford Red Devils 32 - 28 Hull FC|
|Catalans Dragons 38 - 18 Warrington Wolves|
|Friday 27th February|
|St Helens 21 - 14 Castleford Tigers|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
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