Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell has challenged his players to match the high performance level of their Magic Weekend demolition of Wakefield Wildcats with another big show in London on Saturday.
After the Tigers came up with their biggest win of the season in beating their local rivals 49-24 at the Etihad Stadium head coach Powell said it showed how good the team could be, but the key was to prove they could do it on a consistent basis.
Castleford now go in search of a first Super League win on away soil since they beat Wakefield in April, 2013 and will not need reminding that they will have to play well again, having lost at home to the Broncos this season. Coach Powell has also tasted defeat away to London as Featherstone Rovers boss, admittedly in a close Tetley’s Challenge Cup tie.
He is looking forward to the challenge of getting one over the London boys this time and told the Express: “It helps the preparation a little bit that I went there with Featherstone. I previewed heavily for that game and spent a lot of time watching them.
“We challenged them and they would say they had an off day, but the Featherstone team were excellent and I learned a lot about the London team that day.
“They have some really good players, like Gower, who’s been around a long time, and Kaufusi, who’s played for Australia. Luke Dorn is also an exceptional player so you look across the field and they’ve got good players who can really challenge you.
“The key is for us is to be right on the money with our performance. Be tough and aggressive and do the little things that made us a pretty good team last week. If we do that consistently we are confident we’ll be a really difficult team to beat.
“I don’t think the players need to worry about getting revenge for the previous game against London. It’s not something you can get back. This is the game that’s important, nothing else, and the motivation of working hard for each other should be enough and pride in performance.
“After the way we played against Wakefield we’ve got to be feeling confident.
“I’ve said all along that the team can play rugby league and we scored some good tries. Some of the skill on show was exceptional and I thought we took a step forward defensively as well.
“But the key thing is to maintain our levels and improve. It’s important you don’t fall in love with yourself just because you’ve won a game.
“You need to continue doing the things that got you the win and the performance. We’ll certainly be focusing on that and looking to improve again.”
Castleford could be unchanged for the trip to the capital with no new injury worries, although they have forwards Keith Mason and Lee Gilmour back in contention after were both were left out for the Magic Weekend.
Powell said: “We’ll see how we go through the week, but I don’t imagine that there will be too many changes.
“I brought Dan Fleming in last week because I thought he deserved an opportunity and he did well when he came on.
“Keith Mason was in the 19, but there were some things in his game the week before that I wanted him to improve and that’s why he was left out.
“Lee Gilmour’s been struggling with a couple of injuries and I felt like he needed a week off after he didn’t have his best game against Catalan.
“We need a competitive environment where everyone is striving to play well every week. If they don’t there’s a chance they are going to get left out of the team.”