Castleford Tigers in confident mood for ‘key game’ against Saints

Daryl Powell.
Daryl Powell.

After wins over Wigan and Hull in the last two weeks resurgent Castleford Tigers are now aiming to claim the scalp of another top eight side to move to within three points of a play-off place.

Daryl Powell’s men can cut the gap to three points behind eighth-placed St Helens if they beat them at the Wish Communications Stadium on Sunday and make it three back to back victories for the first time since July, 2011.

Not surprisingly after beating the Super League leaders 18-4 confidence in the Tigers camp is good and while admitting it will not be an easy game against Saints head coach Powell sees it as a chance for his side to show they can still aim for a place in the play-offs.

He told the Express: “We’re back at home and we’re on a good run here with three straight home wins. This is a good opportunity to build some momentum for ourselves. It’s a key game for us. St Helens are in the eight at the moment, but if we win this game we close the gap between us to three.

“It’s a good chance, but we know it’s going to be tough. St Helens will be smarting from getting beat by Hull KR last week and we know we need to play well.

“It’s a tough one for us to reach the play-offs, but we have to keep going after it and keep picking up points, looking to climb the table if we can.

“It’s certainly not going to be an easy challenge, but while it’s mathematically possible it’s possible and that’s how we need to approach it.

“Without a doubt there’s a lot of confidence within the group at the moment.

“Quite a lot of individuals are playing well and collectively as a group they are working exceptionally hard for each other.

“If you’ve got that confidence that people are going to turn up for each other and work hard defensively then you are going to be tough to break down.

“The little combinations within our team are all working well so we are growing our game a little bit.”

Powell identified the start of the game as being crucial.

He said: “By St Helens’ high standards they’ve been a bit inconsistent. They’re not on a great run at the moment, but they have got a lot of quality players.

“We always talk about the start to our games and it’s important we get that right. We don’t want to give them an opportunity to build confidence.

“It’s going to be key again that we get out there and start the game as effectively as we can and put as much pressure as we can on St Helens.”