Coach Powell relishes battle of the hookers

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TOMORROW’S BATTLE of two outstanding young hookers will be a highlight when Castleford Tigers take on Hull KR at MAH Jungle.

Tigers coach Daryl Powell is relishing seeing how his young acting-half Daryl Clark fares up against the visitors’ highly-rated No 9 Josh Hodgson.

“Their guy in the middle, Josh Hodgson, is playing really well,” Powell stated. “Everyone’s talking him up at the minute and he will be up against a couple of smart hookers here. Daryl Clark’s playing really well so it will be a good battle there.

“I think Clark has been the form hooker in the competition all the way through. He has been outstanding, his ability to break the defensive line is second to none and his game is gradually developing as well. The way he plays around the ruck area is outstanding, so it is a good battle – it is worth the entrance fee alone to see the two best young hookers in the comp going head to head.”

But Powell said Rovers have other threats Tigers will need to be aware of.

“Their stand-off Travis Burns is playing well,” he warned. “He is a combative sort of individual.

“He has kicked a fair number of 40-20s, so that’s a threat for him and he comes and challenges you physically with his strength and speed. Kris Keating, with his passing game, is pretty dangerous and they have got a big pack and some experience in there from the NRL.”

Tigers are without winger Justin Carney, who begins a two-match ban. James Clare is set to step in. Jake Webster is also out from the team which beat Widnes Vikings last week and his place is set to go to Michael Channing, with Jordan Tansey and Adam Milner also hoping for a recall.

Players coming into contention for Hull KR are Jordan Cox, James Green, Rhys Lovegrove and Wayne Ulugia, with Liam Salter and Jason Netherton dropping out.

Castleford Tigers from: Dorn, Dixon, Channing, Shenton, Clare, Sneyd, Finn, Lynch, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Millington, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Jewitt, Tansey, Milner.

Hull KR from: Burns, Cockayne, Costigan, Cox, Gardner, Green, Hall, D Hodgson, J Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Langley, Larroyer, Lovegrove, Ulugia, A Walker, J Walker, Welham, Weyma

Referee: Tim Roby (Preston).

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3.30pm.

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