Castleford aim to maintain standards against strugglers

Luke Gale touches down for a try for Castleford Tigers against Leeds Rhinos.
Luke Gale touches down for a try for Castleford Tigers against Leeds Rhinos.

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is confident his players will not be complacent as they look avoid tripping up in two banana skin games over the bank holiday weekend.

After some heavyweight clashes in recent weeks the Tigers now face the bottom two teams in the Betfred Super League as they host Widnes Vikings tonight then travel to play Leigh Centurions on Monday afternoon.

Cas tripped up in games like these last year, losing at home to both Widnes and the eventually relegated Hull KR, and head coach Powell will make sure his players are reminded that they must turn up with the right attitude.

He told the Express: “We need to be constantly mindful that teams are coming after us and want to play well against us. They’ve got to if they are to get anything out of it

“We’ve set ourselves standards and it’s about adhering to those and making sure we don’t slip below them.

“These two games are crucial for us – they all are to be honest. We start favourites and that brings its own pressure, but we have been superb at home so far and Friday brings us another opportunity to get after a team.

“I think we played Widnes last year in similar circumstances. They had a lot of players missing and they played superbly on the night.

“You can’t go into any game dipping your toe in the water as we did on that occasion so we need to start well.

“There’s an awareness there that any team can beat any team. You just need one to be really focused and the other team to be a little bit off. We’re mindful that it’s every week for us.

“For Monday you see how you come out of Friday first. We lost the second Easter game against St Helens and we don’t want that to happen again.

“I don’t think we could have done any more in terms of managing it and we’ll be doing something similar again. We’ll get Friday done first and then we’ll look forward to getting a performance in against Leigh.”

Despite their bottom of the table position, Widnes are a capable side if allowed to play and nothing short of a good display will be enough for the Tigers according to Powell.

He said: “Widnes have got some good attacking players and some good young players.

“Denis Betts has been saying that the young players have been the better players and have been going well so nothing but a top performance form us is going to be needed.

“We’ve got keep our consistency in the way that we play. We’ve got a real understanding at the moment in the way that we’re performing and individual players knowing their jobs.

“They are performing right at the top of their game and it’s about staying there as often and as long as we can.

“It’s about being on for 80 minutes and we are doing our best with our training programme to keep players fit. You can see with the energy levels we’ve got in a game that we feel like we’re getting things right at the moment and we’ve got to maintain it.”