THEY NEED to play better, but Castleford Tigers will go into today’s game at Leigh Centurions buoyed by a “big win” coach Daryl Powell says.
Tigers had to fight back from 12 points down in the second half to beat Betfred Super League’s bottom club Widnes Vikings three days ago.
But rather than being disappointed by a below-par performance from his table-toppers, Powell took encouragement from the way they found a way to win.
Leigh are just one place better off than Widnes and Powell reckons his men will need to show similar spirit this afternoon.
He said: “Widnes were very good and did some smart things and we were a little bit off.
“It was a bit of a mix, but I thought we showed a lot of character to get out of it in the last 10 minutes.
“We lost a couple of games early on in the season when we were put under a bit of pressure, but against Huddersfield we came through without some of our high-quality players and we got challenged by Leeds and Widnes.
“On Friday we were 22-10 down and we found our way out of it.
“We’ve not played well and we scored 32 points. They were down quite a lot of players, but played really well, without fear and really challenged us.
“It was a big win for us against a team who were desperate.”
Leigh are on a high after a 26-22 win at Hull, their first away victory in Super League.
“That was a great performance from them,” Powell said.
“They will have taken a lot of confidence from that, but we need to focus on ourselves.
“We have to be mindful of the opposition, but make sure we get our own game right.
“If our game is right we are confident. We probably went away from some of the things we normally do on Friday and we got challenged, so we have to make sure that doesn’t happen and we don’t go too conservative when we get put under pressure.”
Powell reckons Tigers will need to make fewer mistakes with ball in hand today and cope better when tested by Leigh’s defence.
“They defended well on our line and some of the things we normally do in yardage we didn’t quite do,” he said of last Friday’s match.
“We made too many errors – we made 15 in the game and that’s quite a bit above our average for the season.
“It limited the way we play quite a lot.”
“Jake Webster and Junior Moors are set to return today after being rested on Friday and Alex Foster and Kevin Larroyer are also in contention, with Andy Lynch and Gadwin Springer dropping out from the side which beat Widnes.
Powell said: “Lynchy is all right, but Gadwin tore a hamstring scoring a try.
“He could be out for a few weeks with that, but we’re not sure yet exactly how bad it is.”
Leigh Centurions: from Leigh Centurions: from Brown, Crooks, Dawson, Drinkwater, Weston, Paterson, Stewart, Pelissier, Tickle, Maria, Vea, McNally, Hampshire, Reynolds, Hood, Hopkins, Acton, Burr, Fleming.
Castleford Tigers: from Cook, Eden, Foster, Gale, Hardaker, T Holmes, Larroyer, Massey, McMeeken, McShane, Millington, Minikin, Milner, Moors, Monaghan, Roberts, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Webster.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).
Kick-off: Today, 4pm.