GREG MINIKIN expects Castleford Tigers to face a fired-up Leeds Rhinos when the two sides clash at Magic Weekend tomorrow.
The last time these two rivals met, in March, Castleford inflicted a humiliating 66-10 victory on neighbours Leeds – with centre-cum-winger Minikin claiming a hat-trick of tries.
That win continued Super League leaders Tigers’ recent good run against the Headingley club, but Minikin expects a backlash when the two teams meet tomorrow in Newcastle.
“It’s always tough, but I don’t think the scoreline last time out represented what Leeds are as a club,” said the 22-year-old. “They will definitely come out firing wanting to get the win, as will we.
“We will have to be on top of our game to get the win at the weekend. Leeds have done a lot of improving, playing really well in the league. They are a strange team, the way they attack, they throw a lot of stuff at you.
“Sometimes, that can surprise you, so we will have to be good defensively to win.
“We are expecting a tighter game this time, it will be tough, and Leeds will come out fired up. We will have to match that.”
Since that defeat in March, the Rhinos have been in good form, climbing to fourth in the table and just two points off leaders Castleford.
Where free-scoring Tigers are streets ahead of everyone else in Super League is their points tally, for and against.
They boast an amazing 262 points difference, scoring 476 and conceding 214 in 13 games. None of their rivals have broken the three-figure barrier, with Hull FC on 61, Salford on 92, Leeds on 59 and Wigan on minus one.
We are expecting a tighter game this time, it will be tough, and Leeds will come out fired up.Castleford Tigers’ Greg Minikin.
Former York City Knights star Minikin has been key to that success, scoring 15 tries in 12 appearances.
“It’s really good (at Tigers), especially on the wing,” said the Knaresborough-born winger. “It’s easy to score tries when you keep getting passed the ball and all you have to do is put it down.
“The way Cas plays, it’s really good to attack teams.
“We are an attacking side, we have done work on our defence in pre-season – we needed to after last year – and have got that defensive edge back.”