Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell says his players know what they have to do if they are to make it third time lucky in their battles with Hull FC tomorrow night.
After league and cup defeats by Hull this year the Tigers will not be lacking motivation when they look for revenge in their first meeting with Lee Radford’s men at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle in 2017.
Powell reckons the Tigers are up for the challenge, but admits they will have to deal with Hull’s outside backs better than they did in the Challenge Cup tie.
He said: “I thought we were highly motivated last week for the Leeds game after the Hull game and I’d expect us to be the same this week.
“We’re not going to over do it, I don’t see any need for that.
“We have a pretty motivated group of players at the moment, looking forward to the challenge. Hull have been a little bit too good for us so far, really close games but they have been the better team in both and we are mindful that we need to correct that this week.
“You don’t like losing. Hull have beaten us twice this year and I think they’ve played well in both games.
“We’ve been off a little bit and started both games poorly – that’s something we’ll have to be better at.
“We need to deal with their backfield boys better. The wingers are all about physical prowess and Shaul’s pretty good with his speed and you need to be able to deal with that to give yourself a chance to maintain field position.”
Powell is expecting a potential classic match.
He said: “You look at the match-ups and it’s got all the hallmarks that great games have.
“We are one and two in the table so it should be a great game.
“We have been really consistent this year. There has been a couple of drop-offs, but we feel we are in a good place and feel confident regardless of the Challenge Cup.
“Hull have had a couple of difficult to understand lapses defensively across the season, but when they have played us they’ve been the best team.
“We know what we’ve got to do this week, we’re aware of where their strengths are.
“There’s a lot of strengths in their team and we are going to have to play well.”
Castleford will have skipper Michael Shenton back after he missed last week’s game at Leeds Rhinos with a knee problem, but Andy Lynch will not return to the squad after being rested for the Headingley outing.
Powell explained: “Shenny will come back in, but we are just giving Lynchy a little bit of time to freshen up. We did this earlier in the year, we sped him up a little bit and then he came back and played some great games. Hopefully something similar will happen.
“We’ve got a couple of big men who came back last week.
“I thought Larne Patrick was phenomenal against Leeds and it was good to have Gadwin Springer back. We’ve got a bit of size back into our pack, which is helpful.”