Anderson excited for Tigers clash
Huddersfield Giants coach Paul Anderson is delighted to see the resurgence of his hometown club Castleford Tigers this year but he will be even happier if he can burst their bubble at the John Smith's Stadium tomorrow.
The Tigers have been the surprise package of the first three months of the First Utility Super League season, winning all but two of their 10 matches and reaching the last eight of the Challenge Cup, and have the chance to reclaim second spot in the table behind Leeds Rhinos, their next home opponents.
They are in the position the Giants enjoyed for most of 2013 and so Anderson knows the pressure facing Daryl Powell's high fliers.
"Castleford are probably in a similar position as us last year, with people just waiting for them to fall away," Anderson said. "I'm glad that someone else has that problem this year.
"They have a lot of confidence in what they are doing. They also have some people playing well who are very important to them and they will be dangerous on Sunday.
"That said, our focus still remains on us and we've been working on a few things."
Last year's league leaders are currently six points behind the Tigers after making a sluggish start to the season but, in posting back-to-back wins over Easter, have shown signs of regaining their form.
Powell said: "We had a decent tussle against them when I was here at the back end of last season. They were a little too good for us then but we're a much-improved team so we're certainly looking forward to having a pop at them."
Bradford Bulls will be hoping their surprise Challenge Cup win over Catalan Dragons can kickstart their league campaign when they host Warrington Wolves.
The Bulls are still bottom of the table, on minus two after having six points deducted for going into administration, but Wolves prop Ben Evans – who spent last season on loan at Odsal – says his old club will pose a fresh threat following their impressive 33-20 win over the Dragons.
"It was a great result for them against Catalan in the cup, considering they are carrying a lot of injuries," said the 21-year-old Wales international.
"To come together and get a win like that, I was made up for them. They will now come into the game against us with confidence and it will make the game even tougher for us."
Bradford will give debuts to loan signings Antonio Kaufusi and Joe Arundel, while Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are set to give a first outing to second rower Jacob Fairbank following his arrival on loan from Huddersfield for their trip to Hull FC.
The Wildcats will be aiming to halt a worrying run of six straight defeats in a match that marks the 200th career appearance of former Hull loose forward Danny Washbrook.
Hull KR are also expected to have a debutant in their home game against Widnes Vikings, with the arrival of former North Queensland Cowboy outside back Wayne Ulugia.
Prop Justin Poore is out with a serious knee injury but the Robins have Jonny Walker fit again, while full-back Ben Cockayne, half-back Kris Keating, winger David Hodgson and forward Jamie Langley are also back after sitting out the Easter Monday game in Perpignan to give coach Craig Sandercock plenty of selection posers.
"Justin is going to be a big loss but, as the saying goes, somebody's misfortune is somebody else's opportunity and we're looking at maybe Jonny Walker and Jamie Langley being available, and if that's the case it's a major boost to us," said Sandercock.
"All of a sudden, we're starting to get a few senior players back and when you do that, you can then make some decisions based on form and training."