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Super League: Hull KR v Castleford Tigers preview
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Early pace-setters Castleford have to re-write history if they are take the points from their trip to Hull KR on Friday.
The West Yorkshire club have lost on each of their last seven visits to the KC Lightstream Stadium, but this time they can go into the game with confidence after starting the campaign with back-to-back wins.
Tigers' coach Daryl Powell is again without former Rovers star Jake Webster, who got injured at his old club, though the centre is close to a return to action.
Otherwise, Powell has to make just one enforced change to the squad that thrashed Catalan last weekend. Full-back Jordan Tansey, victim of a high tackle by the subsequently-suspended Julian Bousquet, misses out as a result. Jamie Ellis has been drafted in to replace the former-Leeds player.
Similarly, Robins boss Craig Sandercock has made a single enforced change to his 19-man squad as his team seek their first win of the season.
Last week's memorable comeback at Huddersfield resulted in a 24-24 draw to get Hull KR off the mark with a point, but feisty forward Justin Poore was again found guilty of throwing more than just his weight around. The former Wildcats prop was suspended for one match after being found guilty of punching in an incident involving Giants' centre Joe Wardle.
The Robins coughed up plenty of ball in the opening 40 minutes of the stalemate with Huddersfield and Sandercock says that will need to change on Friday evening.
"I think we turned the ball over a little bit too much in the first half last week and we need to respect possession more," he said. "The other thing you have to do against good sides is take your opportunities when they come along because if you don't, it can come back to haunt you.
"We dropped the ball over the line three times against Huddersfield and that's something we need to improve on.
"Last week showed us how rugby league can be sometimes in as much that one minute you're dropping the ball over the opposition line and then the next, the other team are down the other end scoring themselves. We were really disappointed as we believed we had an opportunity to win that game."
Graeme Horne, who was absent in that game due to an abductor injury, is fit again and returns to replace Poore. Mick Weyman will also sit this one out as he completes a two-match ban.
Sandercock has called for his team to play for 80 minutes this week after being outplayed in one half of each of their games so far. Much will depend on stand-off Travis Burns, while Josh Hodgson has also impressed, but with eight new players on board the Robins are taking time to get their combinations together.
Both clubs won their respective home fixtures in last year's Super League season, but Rovers have recorded twice as many wins (eight) as their opponents in the head-to-head during the summer era.
They can also take some comfort from history with the knowledge that Castleford have not won on any visit to east Hull since a 16-12 success in the Regal Trophy, as long ago as November, 1993.
Tigers: Dixon, Shenton, Carney, Dorn, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Owen, Channing, Fleming, Finn.
Rovers: Burns, Carlile, Caro, Cockayne, Costigan, Cox, Eden, Green, Hall, J.Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Langley, Larroyer, Lovegrove, Salter, A.Walker, J.Walker, Welham.
You can follow all the action from the KC Lightfoot Stadium as the Hull Kingston Rovers entertain Castleford Tigers live on Sky Sports 1HD from 7:30pm on Friday.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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