SUPER LEAGUE boff Kaine Greenwood (@RetroPress) returns with his take on Thursday night’s Super League contest between Leeds and Castleford.
Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers | Thursday 20.00 | Sky Sports 3
The next round of Super League gets off with a bang on Thursday night as Champions – yet bottom club – Leeds Rhinos host bitter local rivals Castleford Tigers.
Most of the banging in recent weeks has no doubt been Rhinos fans finding the nearest wall to connect their head with and that headache-inducing act may continue should former Rhino and Tigers coach Daryl Powell lead his side to a victory that would surely consign McDermott and co. to Middle 8's appearances at the regular season's end.
Leeds are set to welcome back #6 Danny McGuire who has the experience of a 15-year career under the Headingley lights to draw on and he will play a leading role in any revival.
McGuire certainly has a long history of producing in this fixture – since his first taste of the tie in 2002 which yielded his second and third tries for the club – the former international half has been a regular foe of the visitors scoring 26 times in 27 fixtures and accumulating over 100 points along the way.
Had this season-defining fixture for the Rhinos and McGuire's return to the heart of the field not coincided, I would've had no hesitation in selecting an away victory at 9/4 (SkyBet) quotes – meaning Castleford would take the spoils for the fourth game running.
These factors added in with Castleford's own patchy league form since collecting the two points in the Round 7 reverse (W2-L4) lead to enough doubt to avoid and look elsewhere.
The form of second-row Mike McMeeken continued in Cas's cup success at home to Salford at the weekend with two tries and he is an enticing 5/1 shot to repeat the four-point feat with SkyBet. However, it is fellow former London recruit, Denny Solomona, I am finding it difficult to get away from.
The first, most simple, reason being, we're talking about Super League's top tryscorer. Of the 13 games the flying New Zealander has played in this season he has found the line in eight outings and has recorded 2+ times in five ties across all competitions – including the latest round of the Challenge Cup.
His rise since debut with the London franchise has been constant and his transfer to the Tigers has seen Daryl Powell work to produce a real tune from a winger who not only finishes but can carry the ball out from the back and create opportunities – illustrated by a league-high 21 clean breaks.
Sometimes it really is best not to overthink and in selecting Solomona to continue his form by scoring for the fifth game in six, my thoughts are that SkyBet are one of those going out on a limb in offering 10/11 on a selection as short as 8/15 elsewhere.
Solomona is the Tigers’ main strike threat and with the return of key provider Luke Gale I'm dying to get a piece of the action.
Leeds v Castleford – Denny Solomona to score a try at anytime (10/11 SkyBet)