Tigers aim to keep up form
Castleford Tigers will need to make history if they are to maintain their perfect start to the 2014 First Utility Super League season.
The Tigers, who won just one of their first 11 matches of last season to lie bottom of the table, aim to make it three wins in a row to go top when they meet Hull KR at the KC Lightstream Stadium on Friday night.
Castleford have yet to win at Hull KR in the summer era, their last away win over the Robins coming in the Regal Trophy in November 1993, but they will be full of confidence after making an impressive start to their campaign.
They followed up their handsome opening-round win at Bradford Bulls with a rout of Catalan Dragons and coach Daryl Powell believes there is more to come from his team.
"It's about being consistent," Powell said. "Hull KR is a tough place to go.
"They are a pretty big physical team but I just think it's about us and making sure our performance levels are right.
"We have spoken about not getting too carried away with ourselves because we've started the season well.
"There's lots of things we can improve on. We sat down and reviewed the (Catalan) game and picked out a fair few things, a lot of them little things."
Hull KR will be buoyant after fighting back from 24-6 down to earn a draw at Huddersfield Giants but they will be without both their first-choice props, Justin Poore and Michael Weyman, through suspension, while Castleford have lost full-back Jordan Tansey with a knee injury.
The Catalans will also have to cope without two of their regular front rowers as they seek to get off the mark against Leeds Rhinos in Perpignan.
They have lost Olivier Elima and Julian Bousquet to suspension as well as Scott Dureau, Morgan Escare and Ben Pomeroy to injury as the early-season pressure mounts on coach Laurent Frayssinous.
Leeds, on the other hand, hope to have the services of captain Kevin Sinfield, who has scored points in all 19 of the Rhinos' meetings with the Dragons since 2006 but limped out of their win over Warrington Wolves last Friday.
The Rhinos are favourites to make it three consecutive victories at Stade Gilbert Brutus but full-back Zak Hardaker, their two-try hero against the Wolves, is expecting a backlash from the hosts following their hammering at Castleford.
"It's a really hostile environment down there," Hardaker said. "They really do fancy their chances at home and they will be trying to put things right."
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson is expecting his side to bounce back from their disappointing result against Hull KR when they visit Widnes Vikings.
Anderson was angered by the Giants' inability to hold onto an 18-point lead against the Robins but will give them the chance to atone for their errors.
"Recent history shows that this club responds to adversity well and we'll prove that on Friday," he said.
Widnes, who had a week off following the postponement of their game with Wigan Warriors, will be without both skipper Jon Clarke, who has not played since August, and vice-captain Kevin Brown but coach Denis Betts is happy with their deputies.
Welsh international Lloyd White deputises at hooker for Clarke and Danny Craven will get the chance to take on Brown's playmaking role.
"We need Jon for a big part of the year, not just two games and that's why he won't play on Friday," Betts said.
"We don't need to rush him as there's a bit of depth in that role now. Danny Craven gives you cover in a lot of positions. He's got loads of ability and is in the mix again."