Castleford Tigers forward Oliver Holmes has described Sunday’s Betfred Super League clash with Widnes Vikings as a “must-win”.
After their poor start at St Helens the Tigers are more than keen to make amends in their first home game of the new season and will be aiming to take some of their frustration out on Widnes when they come to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Holmes admitted Sunday’s game had now become a bigger one because of what happened at St Helens.
He said: “It’s definitely a must-win game for us now.
“It’s our first game at home and we pride ourselves on being a pretty decent team at home and rarely losing down here.
“A lot of our fans went last week and braved the motorway and we owe them.
“We’re hoping we can put it right. We don’t want to drag this on too long, we definitely need to have a look and address things.
“We don’t want to look back at it and be too negative. As bad as it was, we need to come out of this a better team and better as individuals and people.”
Widnes will not be lacking confidence that they can turn over the Tigers after winning well against Catalans Dragons in their opening game and Holmes is expecting a tough game.
He added: “Widnes have been a tricky side for us down here, over the years and they had a fantastic win last week.
“They played really well against Catalans so we are expecting a big game.
“Whenever they come here it has always been a tough and tricky game so we have to be on it mentally and physically.
“We have got to get our tactics right and have a bit of honesty about us and hard work.
“If we have to grind out the game and win it 6-0, then that’s what we’ll have to do.
“If that’s the case I think we’ll come out of it the better team.”
Holmes can understand why head coach Daryl Powell has indicated that he will make changes to the side for Sunday’s game.
He added: “After a loss like that it’s hard for Powelly not to make changes.
“People have got to be working hard. We have got a strength in depth here that I haven’t seen in any Cas team while I’ve been here, in about 10 years.
“So that means if you’re not on your game there’s somebody there who’s going to slot in and do a job.
“After the weekend’s performance I am sure Powelly’s going to rotate a few people out and people are going to get a chance.
“If they get a chance and take it they are going to stay in there. That’s what competition for places is all about.
“It will bring the best out of the team and individuals and that’s what will make us a champion team.”