Castleford wary of two local lads when Hull FC come to test perfect record

• Tigers have won first four Super League games
• Hull's Joe Westerman enjoying extra responsibilty

Daryl Powell has identified Hull as especially dangerous opponents for his high-flying Castleford team on what promises to be another rousing Sunday afternoon down Wheldon Road.

Cas are cock-a-hoop after snatching a dramatic 36-31 win against Wigan, the champions, last Sunday to maintain their 100% Super League record in front of an 8,504 crowd. There should be a similarly raucous atmosphere at one of the competition's most intimate, if basic, venues as Hull supporters have always made one of their shorter journeys west along the M62 in big numbers, usually filling the covered terrace opposite the main stand.

They are also in upbeat mood after a convincing home win against Bradford last Friday, and boosted by the return to their squad of Garreth Carvell, the prop they signed from the Bulls last month, and the former Cas centre Joe Arundel.

"They're a well-supported club, and they've started the season pretty well," said Powell, who will be especially wary of a couple of players with strong Cas connections in the back-row of a tough-looking pack.

Gareth Ellis, the former England forward who is in his second season as Hull's captain, grew up in the town and played his junior rugby with the renowned Lock Lane amateur club before he was signed professionally by neighbouring Wakefield Trinity – one of too many outstanding players who have been allowed to slip through the net, including Powell himself when he signed for the fledgling Sheffield Eagles three decades ago.

The Tigers did not make the same mistake with Joe Westerman, a gifted loose-forward around whom Cas planned to build a team – only for the financial problems that have dogged them sporadically throughout the Super League era to leave them powerless to prevent him moving to East Yorkshire.

There have been times in the past couple of seasons when Hull might have questioned that investment, as Westerman has generally failed to fulfil his potential, but there have been signs this season that under the no-nonsense coaching of Lee Radford, the 24-year-old will relish extra responsibility – and possibly stake an overdue claim for an England place in this autumn's Four Nations series.

"Hull have got quality players across the board," added Powell. "We don't want to get carried away. We know we are going well and with the ball we are doing some exceptional things but what happens generally is that teams work out a way to play against you.

"That's what we've got to be aware of and make sure we do our jobs on a weekly basis and we don't start getting complacent in any way. I don't see any reason that's going to happen but it's important that you just maintain what you are doing and keep working hard."

Powell has sprung another of the selection surprises that reflect either a preference for rotation or a determination to keep his large squad on their toes by omitting Luke Dorn, the Australian full-back who scored the last-gasp winner against Wigan. He is likely to be replaced by Jordan Tansey, with the former New Zealand centre Jake Webster also in the squad for the first time this season.

The focus in Sunday's other Super League match will be on the main stand at Odsal as much as the pitch as the Salford owner, Dr Marwan Koukash, has promised that he will attend Bradford's game against Huddersfield with his wife, Mandy, who has submitted one of the three bids for the club received by the administrators this week.

Bradford remain bottom of the table despite winning two of their first four matches because of the six-point penalty imposed for entering administration and two of their likely relegation rivals, London Broncos and Wakefield, meet in another significant fixture in Edgware on Saturday afternoon.

The former Hull stand-off Paul Cooke takes his Doncaster team to Aldershot on Sunday tomorrow for a third-round tie against the British Army in the Tetley's Challenge Cup. The 14 Super League clubs enter the competition in Monday's fourth-round draw. © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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