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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Depleted Castleford still no easy assignment for Hull

Eden and Fonua ready to keep up try chase

Greg Eden of Castleford needs three more tries to break Denny Solomona's record of 40 tries in a Super League season
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Castleford v Hull
Sky Sports Arena, 8pm Friday

Hull have beaten Castleford twice in 2017 and if the Black & Whites defeat the runaway table-toppers again, they will finish third in the regular season table and head to Leeds in next week's Betfred Super League playoffs.

Lee Radford's team will also make the playoffs even if they lose should Wigan not win at Wakefield on Saturday.

Radford's priority will simply be to win at The Jungle and bookmakers make his team 8-13 to do so following Cas counterpart Daryl Powell's announcement that a number of the Tigers' star names will have the night off.

Half-back Luke Gale remains sidelined after his appendix operation and captain Michael Shenton, Zak Hardaker, Grant Millington and Adam Milner are rested.

Plenty of punters will doubtless be tempted to back the visitors to cover a four-point handicap but they should be wary.

Cas fielded an understrength side at Wigan last weekend but still defied a ten-point handicap to win 38-28 thanks to a hat-trick from 18-year-old Jake Trueman.

The Tigers also had plenty of cubs on show at home to St Helens in June and won that game 16-12.

Cas may not need to win but that does not mean they will fall short and there are better bets outside the normal match markets.

Free-scoring Tigers winger Greg Eden needs three more tries to break Denny Solomona's record of 40 in a Super League season and looks good value to notch at 4-5.

Eden has registered in 21 of his 28 appearances this year although three of the seven blanks came against Hull.

By contrast, the Airlie Birds' powerhouse Mahe Fonua has scored five tries in the three clashes with Cas and has been in brilliant recent form with five touchdowns in his last four games.

The 11-10 that he extends his scoring run looks value.

So does the 11-1 that Hull open the scoring with a penalty as they did against Wigan a fortnight ago.

In crucial contests, the Airlie Birds' approach has been to take two points whenever they are on offer, as they did when kicking four penalties in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie against the Tigers in June.

Friday's other Super 8s game between eighth-placed Huddersfield and second placed Leeds is a dead rubber.

The Giants have conceded 92 points in losing their last two games so it's no surprise to see the Rhinos installed as short-priced favourites.

A bet on a high total points make-up can be considered when prices become available.

In the Qualifiers, Leigh travel to out-of-contention London. The Centurions are 12-point favourites on the handicap which appears a fair assessment.

G Eden to score a try
2pts 4-5 general
M Fonua to score a try
2pts 11-10 Ladbrokes, Coral
Hull penalty first scoring play
1pt 11-1 Paddy Power

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Lee Radford's priority will simply be to win at The Jungle and bookmakers make his team 8-13 to do so
E.W. Terms
Sky bet