Castleford focused on bouncing straight back

Castleford's Mike McMeeken is tackled by St Helens' Theo Fages during last week's game.
Castleford's Mike McMeeken is tackled by St Helens' Theo Fages during last week's game.

Head coach Daryl Powell does not think there is anything for his Castleford Tigers side to panic about after their 12-match unbeaten run was brought to an end by St Helens.

The knives have been out after the Tigers were beaten for the first time at home this year in their opening Super 8s game, but there is no talk of the bubble bursting at Cas where it has been business as usual in training ahead of another big game away to Salford Red Devils tomorrow night.

A win will guarantee a home semi-final so there is every incentive for Cas and they are also looking to put right a wrong from earlier in the season on the same ground when Salford became the first team to beat the Tigers in 2017.

Powell said: “I don’t worry about past records, it’s a new game. It’s just about this game, refocusing and coming up with our best performance – and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

“The response of the players to losing last week has been really good.

“When you do lose you learn a lot about yourselves, as a coaching staff and the way we’ve gone about the period round the game.

“But we’ve only lost four games this year in the league, by less than 20 points I think, so we’re not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

“We will try and tidy a few things up from last week and make sure our attitude is in a fantastic place then we move on to Salford, obviously a big game for us, but they are all big games at this time of year.

“In the Super 8s last year we won five out of seven and we are looking to do something similar this year.”

With all the rain around this week conditions at the AJ Bell Stadium could be the same as those for the sides’ previous clash there in March, but Cas hope to have learned lessons from how they played that day.

Powell said: “We need to do well this week in what looks like being tough conditions by the look of things.

“This is what happens at this time of year, in summer in England, it rains so we just have to get on with it. We didn’t handle it so well at Salford earlier in the year so we learned some lessons.

“It looks like it’s going to be raining again and we’ve certainly got used to that in training this week.”

Salford have lost their last five games, but Powell is expecting his players to face a motivated side that will be dangerous.

He added: “I think we’re facing a team that’s desperate. It showed with St Helens that they were desperate to win and I think Salford will be the same.

“They’ve had some losses recently, but they’ve been in the battle in most games, they were 14-all against Hull and close against Wigan in the cup at half-time. They are battling hard and have got good players.

“They’ve signed a couple and Manu Vatuvei in particular is a big old human being. I see them as a really good side.

“I’m not sure exactly what they’re going to do, they’ve had O’Brien and Dobson missing so they’ve got some good players to come back in as well.”