RUGBY LEAGUE fanatic Andrew Day (@AndyDay81) earmarks his best bet for Sunday afternoon's Super League clash between Castleford and Salford.
Castleford Tigers v Widnes Vikings | Sunday 11th February 2018, 15:00
What to make of Castleford Tigers?
They beat all comers comfortably last season and all eyes were on them last weekend to see if this could be replicated. Unfortunately, they ran into the steam roller that is the reinvigorated St Helens, who with new ideas, high expectancy and home advantage, would have proved difficult for any team in Super League to stop.
That being said, they did themselves no favours. The Tigers’ completion rate was below 35% and in making nearly 100 more tackles than the Saints, it showed how second-best they were.
So, it is hard to judge where Castleford are right now and how 2018 will pan out for them. However, there is no doubt last weekend’s performance is a wrong manager Daryl Powell will be keen for his players to put right.
The Tigers will be keen to show last weekend was just a blip and with another week of training under their belts working with the new half-back pairing and full-back, they should improve – although they surely can’t be much worse.
Widnes, on the other hand, surprised many and overcame the Catalan Dragons 40-12 in a confidence-boosting performance. Most pundits have tipped the Vikings for the Wooden Spoon this season, however if they can keep half-back pairing Joe Mellor and Tom Gilmore fit and firing, they stand a fighting chance.
Castleford won both Super League games against the Vikings last year, including a comfortable 34-0 win in the early stages of last season and a similar outcome is expected here.
Castleford averaged 33 points scored in the 23 Super League games of 2017 and the Vikings averaged 27 points conceded in the same period.
Whilst the Vikings did well last week, this is possibly the worst time to face Castleford. The wounded Tigers will surely be out for blood and I expect them to win at a canter. Therefore, Castleford -14 handicap at evens (Betfred) is the bet.
Castleford Tigers v Widnes Vikings – Castleford -14 handicap (1/1 Betfred)