Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is backing his players to rise to another big challenge when they make a quick return to the scene of their heroic cup victory tomorrow night.
After memorably beating Wigan Warriors 16-4 in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup last Saturday it is back to the DW Stadium for Powell’s men as they return to the First Utility Super League on a mission to make it three wins over the reigning champions in 2014.
Cas head coach Powell already boasts a hat-trick of wins against Wigan after also masterminding a victory at the DW last year as well as the 36-31 home success in the first meeting of the two teams this season – and he wants another big effort from his team.
He told the Express: “We’ve beaten them the last three times we’ve played them so let’s see if we can make it four.
“It’s a big test, but this team’s faced up to pretty much every challenge it’s had in front of it this year and we’ll attempt to do that again.
“We’ve got an interesting challenge going straight back to Wigan on Friday and it presents us with another big test.
“They will be highly motivated. Obviously they won’t be happy at going out of the cup so we’ve got to come up with another massive effort.
“It’s always interesting when you go back quickly to see which teams have learned the most from the opposition, who’s got the most motivation and who can deliver a performance on the night. I’m looking forward to it.”
Powell prescribed rest for his troops after their exertions at Wigan last weekend, with the players given a few days off before returning to training yesterday.
He will check on the fitness levels of the players before naming his final 17 to take the field at Wigan, but is also considering making a few changes to keep the team as fresh as possible.
Powell explained: “We’ve not done much at the start of the week rugby-wise. I left the boys alone and gave them a bit of a breather.
“We’ll we see how everybody is, but there’s a chance I may make one or two changes this week and I’ll make those decisions.
“Last week will have taken a fair bit out of the players physically and emotionally and I’ve got to make sure I get the selection right for this game.
“We’ve got a few options. Ashley Gibson and Jordan Tansey haven’t played for a while and Nathan Massey’s potentially coming back so we’ve got a few people who we can slot in.
“There’s a chance we will have some fresh faces in there to reinvigorate us.
“Nathan Massey is training again after injury and hopefully he’ll be okay and be available to play. It will be a boost to have him back in the forwards.
“Andy Lynch has been carrying a bit of a hamstring injury so he’s potential to have a bit of a breather this week and Nathan Massey will step up into his position if that happens.”