Castleford Tigers players need no extra motivating ahead of Sunday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final at Hull FC with memories of their worst performance of the season on their previous visit to the KCOM Stadium still fresh.
When the sides met back in April the Tigers failed to beat a Hull team down to 12 men for almost an hour following the sending off of Liam Watts and the display was branded unacceptable by Cas boss Daryl Powell.
He is looking for his players to make amends in the cup and at the same time get one back for the Tigers after they were knocked out of the cup at the same ground in the sixth round in 2015.
Powell reckons his side will have to play better than they did in the second half against Warrington when they dropped off after having the game won at 36-6 up 12 minutes into the second half and failed to add to their score.
He said: “We’ve got some tough challenges coming up, starting this week, and it’s important that we improve on what you saw in the second half.
“There was some flashes of absolute brilliance, but the second half was actually pretty disappointing. We’re almost too good for ourselves at times in terms that we get winning leads and then have a little clock off. Maybe that’s a bit of human nature.
“We’ve got to be better when we play Hull. But it’s a different game. You have games where for whatever reason you don’t quite get it right.
“Hull have had some this year where they’ve been terrible, but then you see them like last weekend when I thought they were excellent against Salford.”
Powell continued: “Every game’s different. There’s no point worrying about what’s gone before. We’ll learn some lessons from what we did in the second half and we’re always looking to improve anyway so we’ll look to be outstanding against Hull.
“I think we’re going to need to be, we’re going away to Hull in the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup. It should be a tough, tight game and we’ve got to be a little bit better in certain areas than we were in the second half against Warrington to make sure we get that done.”
Castleford go into the cup tie on the back of eight successive victories and a strong position in the Betfred Super League, but Powell insists the players will not get carried away.
He added: “We are six points clear and at this stage of the season we are in a good position – it is now about us going on with it and staying focused.
“We are in a bit of a groove.
“We’ve had some challenges along the way and we’ve learned some lessons. We’re getting better all the time at dealing with things that are getting thrown up to us.
“We were a little bit scrappy last week and we’ll learn lessons from that again on how we deal with those types of situations.
“We are in a good place, but you’ve got to play every week and you can’t expect that anything’s going to do the job for you apart from how you apply yourself.”