Birthday boy Liam Watts reckons Castleford Tigers put some of the wrongs of the Catalans game right when they saw off the challenge of Leeds Rhinos at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday.
Both games were played in extreme heat, but whereas it was the Tigers who melted in their 44-16 defeat at Catalans they were the ones who were red hot in a bounce back 42-10 success against the Rhinos.
And powerful prop forward Watts, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Sunday, was pleased to see his side immediately back close to their best as they climbed back into third place in the Betfred Super League.
He said: “We were disappointed with the Catalans performance and we wanted to put it to bed pretty quickly.
“We managed to go out there and put a few wrongs right.
“I thought it was a very good performance all round.
“I know there were a few errors in there, but it looked like we were back to near our best.”
Watts admitted that it had been a tricky game for the Tigers to prepare for with the Rhinos sacking head coach Brian McDermott early in the week and confirming a new coaching team of Kevin Sinfield and James Lowes just two days before the local derby.
“You do your prep’ all week on them and then they get a new coach and you don’t know what’s been put in place or what’s been said,” Watts continued.
“We knew they’d come and play and put their best foot forward.
“It was a hot day and I think it gave us a bit of a helping hand playing at Catalans.
“That put us in good stead and it was a very pleasing result.”
The heat made it tough for everyone, especially the big men in the middle of the field.
“You’ve just got to get on with it,” Watts said. “That’s what we get paid to do.
“It was tough out there, the first 15 minutes was absolutely frantic and we just had to do our best.
“We hung in there and we knew they were low on interchanges so we knew we were going to get them towards the end.
“You could see they just fell off with about 20 minutes to go.
“Last week a few plays didn’t come off so we wanted to be patient and we knew we’d get them in the end.
“That’s what we did at the Magic Weekend and it has paid dividends again.”
Sunday’s game saw Watts make his 12th appearance for the Tigers – where he began his professional career – since his move earlier this season from Hull. He is enjoying his rugby and hoping for a big finish to the campaign.
“The fans are all getting behind me and I am enjoying it, it has been good,” he added.
“As a team we need to be more consistent. We’ve talked about that, we’ve got three games left in the regular season and we’re hoping to win all three.
“That’ll put us in a good place going into the Super 8s and if we do that we’ll be second or third, but we will see how it goes.
“We are taking it one step at a time.”