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Super League: Widnes Vikings v Castleford Tigers preview
- Powell prioritising points
- Powell praises in-form Clark
- Webster: Our chance was coming
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- Harris eyes play-off push
- Dragons' desire delights coach
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- Clark hat-trick floors Widnes
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Castleford Tigers will look to leapfrog reigning Super League champions Wigan Warriors and move into third place when they travel to face Widnes Vikings live on Sky Sports on Thursday night.
Daryl Powell's side enter Round 19 level on points with the defending champions, but could move within two points of league leaders St Helens should they prevail against the eigth-placed Vikings at the Select Security Stadium.
The Tigers come into the match on the back of a 14-10 victory over Salford Red Devils, with Jake Webster and Justin Carney touching down as Castleford bounced back from successive defeats.
Despite taking two points from the Red Devils last time out, Powell is well aware the Tigers were short of their best and will be eager to avoid any costly slips as the fight for playoff places intensifies.
“I thought we were in control at 8-0, but it gets like that when you’ve lost a couple," he said. "We came up with a couple of smart plays to get the job done eventually but, on the balance of possession, you’d have expected them to win the game.
“However, it’s about winning and I thought we did enough to come out on top at the end."
Meanwhile, Denis Betts' Vikings arrested their recent slide, losing three consecutive league outings, by hammering London Broncos 42-24 at the Hive Stadium to further prolong the capital side's search for a Super League success.
Following their capital gains, Betts has been boosted by the return of Liam Carberry, who could make his first appearance of the season.
Carberry has been missing since suffering a broken leg and ankle damage in a pre-season trial.
The return of Carberry means prop Eamon O’Carroll is the club's only long-term injury concern and the Vikings coach is delighted to have an almost fully-fit squad to select from.
“At the moment, Liam Carberry just played his first full eighty minutes for a Cumbrian select side at the weekend," Betts told the club's official website.
"So that’s nice to get him back on the field, there’s only really now and that’s Eamon and he’s training really well and we’re pleased with how he’s looking.”
Powell has made just two changes to the 19-man squad which edged out Salford last time out and there is a welcome return for Michael Channing.
The 22-year-old winger is back in the squad following an injury layoff, at the expense of last weekend's hero Jake Webster. Oliver Holmes also returns, with Frankie Mariano dropping out this time.
Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, Allen, Brown, Cahill, Carberry, Clarke, Dean, Flynn, Galea, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Mellor, Phelps, Tickle, White
Castleford Tigers: Dixon, Shenton, Carney, Dorn, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Massey, Clark, Holmes, Wheeldon, Ellis, Channing, Finn, Jewitt, Carvell
Watch Widnes Vikings v Castleford Tigers live on Sky Sports 1HD from 7:30pm
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||25||21|
|11||Salford Red Devils||24||19|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||24||8|
|Sunday 31st August|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Salford|
|15:30||Castleford vs Bradford|
|Thursday 4th September|
|20:00||St Helens vs Warrington|
|Friday 5th September|
|20:00||Wigan vs Leeds|
|Sunday 7th September|
|15:00||Salford vs London Broncos|
|15:00||Bradford vs Widnes|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Catalan Dragons|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 11th September|
|20:00||Wigan vs Warrington|
|Saturday 30th August|
|Catalan Dragons 46 - 4 London Broncos|
|Friday 29th August|
|Widnes 24 - 10 Wigan|
|Hull 28 - 0 Hull K R|
|Leeds 12 - 13 St Helens|
|Thursday 28th August|
|Warrington 24 - 24 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 17th August|
|Bradford 34 - 28 Hull|
|Huddersfield 28 - 14 Widnes|
|London Broncos 40 - 36 Leeds|
|Friday 15th August|
|St Helens 40 - 16 Wakefield|
|Warrington 48 - 10 Castleford|
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