Tigers vs Red Devils: Magic Weekend Preview

Posted: Friday 3rd September 2021 - 5:00 PM

The contest gets this year’s festival of rugby league underway on Tyneside for what should be a memorable occasion for players and spectators alike.

It will be the fourth time that the Fords have come up against Richard Marshall’s Salford this season with the Tigers eager to get back to winning ways to get their play-off push back on track.


One of the highlights of the rugby league calendar, six top-flight matches across two days at one brilliant venue. Plus following no Magic in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2021’s event should feel very special indeed at Newcastle, a popular choice for the location of the weekend to be held.

St James’ Park has been a happy hunting ground for the Fords with four straight victories at Magic Weekend when the event has taken place in the Toon, from 2015 through to 2018, the most recent of which was an impressive 38-10 win over Leeds Rhinos.

Castleford’s official coach travel sets off from the ground at 10.30am, but please note there will be NO parking available at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Make use of our handy supporters’ guide to make the most of Magic Weekend 2021!


Daryl Powell makes four changes to the squad that was declared for Monday’s match against Wigan Warriors, with Paul McShane, Jacques O’Neill, James Clare, and Lewis Bienek stepping in. Danny Richardson is out due to concussion protocols, Liam Watts begins his two-match suspension, and Greg Eden will not be available due to a hamstring tear which is awaiting a scan.

If Jordan Turner features in the match, it will mark his 350th career appearance – an outstanding milestone for the utility man.

Achievements for Jesse Sene-Lefao have been coming thick and fast, should the happiest Tigers play at St James’ Park on Saturday, it will be his 100th Super League game.


Richard Marshall makes just two changes to the squad that he named for Salford’s victory over Hull FC with key men Andy Ackers and Kevin Brown back in contention, whilst Dec Patton and Jack Ormondroyd drop out.

Salford will be in a buoyant mood following their big 42-14 home win over the Black & Whites on Monday, their sixth league win in 2021. It was a far cry from the side who suffered the first defeat to Leigh Centurions this season eight days earlier, so Marshall will be keen to build some end-of-season form ahead of next season.


Ahead of Saturday’s clash with Salford, Head Coach Daryl Powell spoke to the press and claimed that he is looking forward to seeing the return of Magic to the calendar.

“Magic Weekend is different which stimulates players and coaches alike. Fans come from all over so there is a little bit of a carnival atmosphere and it’s a great place to play because there is a buzz about it.

“It will be great to see all the fans back together after Covid and enjoying rugby league. We’ve got a challenge now to get into that top 6 and every game matters, we’ve got three left and I think we have to win all three.”

WATCH Daryl looking ahead to the game against Salford in full on Tigers TV


For the fourth time in 2021, Castleford and Salford face one another, with the Tigers currently ahead by two victories to the Red Devils one. At the end of April, Powell’s Cas side traveled to the AJ Bell Stadium and produced a good display to win 18-28, then one week later a classic Cup tie was decided in golden point extra time by former Red Devil Gareth O’Brien – that result secured passage to the Challenge Cup semi-finals.

Salford bit back by handing the Fords a heavy home defeat in July, 18-70 they won, but the Tigers six days before Wembley had a very young squad, including five debutants.

The fourth chapter of Cas vs Salford in 2021 is to be written in Newcastle, and both want to get the victory over the other.


Cas fullback Niall Evalds was up for media duties and explained that he and the rest of the team are focused on returning to the win column on Saturday.

“It's great to have the fans back and it is a big occasion in a big stadium. It is an important match for us in our quest for the play-off spots and I am really excited for it. We are aware that we need to bounce back from Monday, but we are excited to get out there and play.

“These occasions are special and hopefully we can come away with a win. It is one of the highlights of the rugby league calendar and we are hoping to put on a good performance.”

WATCH Niall’s full preview of the game on Tigers TV


Castleford: 1. Niall Evalds, 2. Derrell Olpherts, 3. Peter Mata’utia, 4. Michael Shenton, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Grant Millington, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Cheyse Blair, 13. Adam Milner, 14. Nathan Massey, 15. George Griffin, 17. Alex Foster, 18. Jacques O’Neill, 19. Tyla Hepi, 20. James Clare, 21. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 22. Daniel Smith, 24. Suaia Matagi, 25. Jordan Turner, 26. Lewis Bienek, 31. Gareth O’Brien

Salford: 1. Morgan Escare, 2. Ken Sio, 4. Krisnan Inu, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. Tui Lolohea, 7. Kevin Brown, 9. Andy Ackers, 11. Ryan Lannon, 14. Danny Addy, 15. Oliver Roberts, 16. Greg Burke, 17. Josh Johnson, 18. Chris Atkin, 20. Harvey Livett, 22. Rhys Williams, 23. Dan Sarginson, 24. Matty Costello, 27. Sam Luckley, 33. Ata Hingano, 34. Nathan Roebuck, 35. Ellis Robson


Watch Castleford versus Salford on Sky Sports Arena, channel 408 on Sky from 2.55pm.

Send us your pictures from Magic Weekend and cheer the Tigers on via social media using the hashtags: #ReadyToRoar and #COYF

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