Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell believes there are no clear favourites ahead of his side’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final at Hull.
Powell is expecting a full blooded, potentially tight game played in an intense atmosphere with the teams just two wins away from a Wembley appearance.
Castleford have won their last eight games in all competitions and sit six points clear at the top of the Betfred Super League, but they lost on their previous visit to the KCOM Stadium earlier this year.
Powell told the Express: “It’s a huge game and it’s always going to be a tough game going away to Hull.
“I’ve seen somewhere that Lee Radford made us favourites, but I think it’s such a tight game it’s difficult to make anybody favourites.
“But if anybody, Hull are at home, they are the Challenge Cup holders, they’ll be getting pretty much everybody back apart from Marc Sneyd so I would say they would be favourites.
“We need to go there and play well and do ourselves justice.
“We certainly didn’t do that when we played them in the league away from home and we’ll be looking to do much better this time.
“It’s not about getting back at Hull. We owe ourselves a good performance that gives us an opportunity to be one of the best teams in the competition.
“We will need to play well, it’s going to be an intense atmosphere and an intense game and we’re going to need to be at our best to win.”
Powell has been impressed with Hull’s ability to bounce back after suffering disappointments this year.
He said: “In the last few weeks they’ve been really good.
“A lot of their younger players played well last week against Salford and they beat Wigan the week before that.
“They’ve had some big losses, but they’ve come back from them pretty well. I think they’d had a couple before we played them last time.
“They are getting pretty much all their best players back now and they’re a dangerous team.
“They have got a lot of quality about them and Jake Connor has slotted in well in Marc Sneyd’s half-back position and is playing well.”
Powell is expecting a great atmosphere for the game.
He added: “It’s always a tough place to go and there’s an intimidating atmosphere about it.
“But our fans have followed us in numbers wherever we’ve gone this year. Obviously it’s a pretty easy trip across the M62 to Hull so I’d expect that for such a big game there will be a lot of people there.
“We’ve really enjoyed our support this year and hopefully we can justify their support with a performance that gets us the result.
“You are one game away from Wembley if you win this game so obviously it’s an important game for both clubs.
“We’ve just got to go, be ourselves and play our own game, try to put Hull under pressure and that will give us a chance.
“We know we can beat anybody in the competition, it’s about how we play on the day. Last time we went there we weren’t great so we know we need to be better than that to give ourselves a chance.”