ENGLAND FOUR Nations hopeful Luke Gale has set Castleford Tigers a target of keeping Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ score below 30 points at Belle Vue tomorrow.
Tigers will jump to sixth going into the First Utility Super-8s, swapping places with Wakefield, if they win the sides’ final game of the regular season.
But the visitors have the worst defence in the top-flight and Gale admitted that is what has let them down during a run of five defeats in their last six league and cup games.
“If we could keep a team below 30 I reckon we’d have a chance,” said the half-back. “We can put 30 points on anyone, but it’s defence that lets us down.
“We are conceding sloppy tries – we are just an attacking team at the minute and something has got to switch mentally because we can’t keep letting that many points in.
“I don’t know what it is, some days we turn up and we can defend. Maybe it is attitudinal, but it would be nice if we could keep a team below 30, because I reckon we’d win.”
Tigers are only seven points behind Catalans Dragons, who hold the fourth and final semi-final place and Gale admitted they need to get back to winning ways soon to have any impact in the eights.
Points carry over from the regular season and Gale said: “It will be a tough game at Wakefield.
“It is a local derby and the fans love going over there, but we need to chalk up a win and get some momentum going into the eights.
“If we can sort our D out, come the eights I reckon we can score points and trouble anyone. We have got to get our defence really solid and make them work for tries, because some of the tries they are just not having to work for.”
He added: “We have got to stay positive and go over to Wakey and hopefully get two points there. It will be tough because they’re on a bit of a roll at the minute.
“They had a good win at Catalans, they are going well and I’m sure they’ve got a bit of confidence.”
Tomorrow’s game could see Gale play alongside Rangi Chase for the second time, following the former Man of Steel’s return to Tigers duty in last week’s 42-26 loss to Warrington Wolves.
“He has not done anything for a lot of months,” Gale said. “He is feeling his way back. He felt a bit stiff and sore after [last Sunday’s] game, but week by week and I am sure it will come and he’ll get his touches back. I am looking forward to that.”
Castleford are set to give a debut to forward Andre Savelio following his arrival on loan from St Helens and Danny Tickle’s departure to Leigh while winger Paddy Flynn is back from a two-match injury absence.
Denny Solomona is poised to switch from wing to full-back in the absence of Luke Dorn, who picked up a calf injury in the defeat by Warrington.
Wakefield will give a debut off the bench to Under-19s player Bradley Moules and a first Super League appearance of the season to Jordan Crowther after losing hooker Scott Moore to suspension and prop Mickael Simon with a hamstring tear.
Coach Chris Chester, who will give a late fitness test to skipper Danny Kirmond, has named another academy player, Liam Senior, in his 19.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, from: Jowitt, Lyne, Arundel, B Tupou, Walton, Hall, Miller, Finn, Ashurst, Kirmond, Molloy, Sio, Arona, Crowther, Fifita, Moules, Scruton, Senior, A Toupou.
Castleford Tigers: from Solomona, Gale, Milner, Millington, O Holmes, McShane, Cook, Moors, Hampshire, Crooks, Mariano, Springer, Maher, Minikin, T Holmes, Patrick, Chase, Savelio.
Referee: Joe Cobb (Leigh).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.