Jake Webster can pounce for Castleford Tigers on return to Hull KR
Arctic conditions may make scoring tricky
Hull KR v Castleford
Sky Sports Arena, 7.45pm Thursday
Hull KR have made a disappointing return to Super League but Rovers will hope to be the beasts from the east of Hull as they take on 2017 table-toppers Castleford.
Like most of the country, Hull has taken a battering from the elements this week but the pitch has been covered and is reported to be fine although an inspection of the surrounds of Craven Park is planned for Thursday morning.
The temperature is forecast to hover around freezing during the game but the wind-chill factor could make that feel more like minus seven degrees Celsius.
In mid-summer, the Tigers’ talented troops could be expected to be too quick and skilful for their opponents but the midwinter conditions could prove to be a leveller.
Bookmakers still favour Cas after last week's impressive 28-18 home win over Hull FC which was their second straight victory after the opening-round loss at St Helens.
Daryl Powell’s team are 2-5 to keep their winning run going. Rovers are 11-4 to prevail and receive between eight and ten points on the handicap.
By their own admission, second-from-bottom KR produced a substandard performance in last weekend’s 36-12 hiding at Salford and are still without talisman Danny McGuire as they bid to bounce back.
However, coach Tim Sheens is expected to welcome back forwards James Donaldson and Chris Clarkson from injury.
The Tigers have lost last season’s top tryscorer Greg Eden and big off-season signing Joe Wardle to hamstring problems.
It could be a night when tries are at a premium but it may still be worth backing Tigers centre Jake Webster to cross the whitewash on his return to his old stamping ground.
The former Rovers favourite notched last weekend and registered 16 tries in 28 games in 2017. The 6-4 against him adding to his try tally appeals.
If scoring tries is tough, goal kicking could be even tougher.
Craven Park is close to the River Humber and exposed to the elements. Winds are expected to be gusting at around 25mph during the match.
Kickers Ryan Shaw (Rovers) and Luke Gale (Castleford) both have a 70 per cent success rate this year which makes odds of 9-4 against the first conversion attempt being unsuccessful appear spot on but the windy weather could make a mockery of that price.
J Webster to score a try
2pts 6-4 Betfair
First conversion attempt to be missed
2pts 9-4 general
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