In the first of a special two-part series in the run-up to the 2017 Super League Grand Final, here’s what the Castleford half of our expert fans panel thinks of the Tigers’ chances the Saturday: as well as the threat posed by opponents Leeds Rhinos..
I believe we stand a great chance – should our defensive line hold out well enough on the wider playing surface of Old Trafford.
In recent weeks, large gaps have appeared when we have come out of the line early, and this needs to have better structure to it. However, the wider pitch may also open the game up for the likes of the elusive Michael Shenton: who has the ability to hold the ball for the right amount of time and give space for Greg Eden – who I am praying breaks the (Super League try-scoring record!
The dangermen to look out for are the two men looking for a fairytale finish; Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire. Both have been in this situation before and have a great ability to dictate the pace of the game. If we can keep them both quiet and expose their weaknesses, we could really control the game. –
Prediction: Castleford win 28-10 with a man-of-the-match performance from Luke Gale.
I think Cas have to be favourites, despite the lack of experience we have. Old Trafford is a big pitch and, with the speed we have, we could be dangerous if we find some space.
Leeds’ dangermen are obviously Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow, who would both love to depart with a win. Us Castleford fans are well aware of the damage these two can cause!
Prediction: 24-18 to Cas!
I think Castleford have a massive chance of winning the Grand Final – but if they don’t, I think they will be their own worst enemy.
Having watched the game against Saints last week, we didn’t have the passion that we have had for most of the season, so let’s hope Cas get back into gear once again!
The dangermen? Liam Sutcliffe is a world-class player who moves the ball around with ease, and it will be hard to predict what he does. Rob Burrow is a hugely experienced player and retiring after this game will give him the momentum to go on and win. Matt Parcell is perhaps the best hooking in Super League; his strength and goal-line defence is second to none, as his the ability to score tries. Like Sutcliffe, he is a danger everywhere he is on the field.
Prediction: Cas by 14
I think my side Castleford have a great chance in the Grand Final: it’s a bit of a now or never situation. Although I believe we’ll stay in and around the top four in the coming seasons, we have to take this chance.
As for Leeds, I see their dangermen as the likes of Matt Parcell and Danny McGuire. Parcell is dangerous in attack, he loves to pick up and run at the defence similar to James Roby – and he can get a great offload away. McGuire, although moving on after Saturday, was incredible during Friday’s game against Hull. He got the ball out of tight situations while attacking and created lots of space for his team-mates to get over.
If Cas control him and don’t give him space, it will make their jobs a lot easier!
Prediction: I (hopefully!) see a close victory for Cas: 20-16.
The game is finely balanced on a knife-edge, and much depends on which Cas and Leeds teams turn up. It’s a tough encounter, no doubt, and form throughout the season and previous results go out the window.
I can’t see Leeds ever running away with it and my heart says that Cas are favourites and will back that up. Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow will be out to spoil the party but for me their dangerman is Adam Cuthbertson. We have dealt well with him so far but we only need a few missed tackles and their pivots can take advantage. Leeds will be out to spoil the party.
Prediction: Cas by 10.