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Castleford coach expects big challenge from progressing Wakefield Trinity side

Ryan Hampshire scores a try during his year on loan at Castleford Tigers. He is set to play against them for Wakefield Trinity.
Ryan Hampshire scores a try during his year on loan at Castleford Tigers. He is set to play against them for Wakefield Trinity.

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is expecting his side to be challenged by a Wakefield Trinity team he has been impressed with this year.

The teams meet in their final derby game of 2018 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Friday night and although the Tigers have a good recent record against their local rivals Powell is gearing his players up for a testing match.

He said: “I see a few similarities with the way we play; Wakefield’s ball movement’s good, half-backs are playing with a bit of confidence, Miller’s a running threat as is Hampshire. They have some big dudes in the pack with people like Pauli Pauli, Craig Huby and Anthony England… there’s some big people.

“Both their hookers, too. In particular, Wood is a real run threat so they have some danger all over the field and are playing with a lot of width.

“Tupou’s getting his hands on the ball, Johnstone’s got an injury but he’s been doing some spectacular stuff and they are a good side and good to watch.

“Chris (Chester) has done a real good job there. They’re up to fifth and if they can hang on to that, two fifth finishes back to back will represent some real progress for them as a club.”

Ryan Hampshire has been a standout player in recent weeks for Trinity and Powell is aware he will be eager to put on a show at a ground he called home for a year when on loan with Cas.

He added: “It just depends on what kind of half-back you want and whether he fits into your structure. He seems to have found a bit of a home there.

“It looks like they’re struggling with the contract talks but he did all right for us. He played better on the wing for us, bizarrely. He’s got pace hasn’t he so he challenges people with his pace.

“I think he’s doing really well on the back of his running game at the moment. Him and Miller are similar players so it’s quite interesting to see how they are working together, but it seems to be going alright for them.

“And it is good that he’s getting some regular game-time. He’s moved around a few different clubs over the last few years and I think it’d be good for him to settle down.”