CASTLEFORD TIGERS are on a mission to make the Jungle a fortress.
Tigers begin the second half of the regular season tomorrow when they play host to Hull KR.
Seven of Castleford’s opening 11 First Utility Super League fixtures have been on the road and that has made it tough for coach Daryl Powell’s injury-hit side.
But with the majority of their remaining fixtures to be played on home turf, the team boss believes they are in a good position to climb the ladder.
Cas face only one more trip across the Pennines, to Salford, before the competition splits after round 23.
Their other away games are at Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats; they take on Warrington Wolves at the Magic Weekend in Newcastle and face Hull KR, St Helens, Wigan Warriors, Widnes Vikings, Hull, Catalans Dragons and Warrington at the Jungle.
Tigers began round 12 in seventh spot, just one point clear of ninth-placed Wakefield and three adrift of the top-four semi-final zone, but Powell insisted: “If we get our home form right it gives us a great chance.
“We have played all the Lancashire teams – apart from Salford – and both Hull teams away.
“We have got a lot of home games coming up and we have got to grab hold of that.
“We need to put in some outstanding home performances and play well away, as well.
“But if we win our home games that will stand us in really good stead.
“Most teams play a bit better at home than away.
“We want to be good in both, but our home form is something we are really focusing on, starting this week.”
For the second successive game, Tigers are facing a team coming off the back of an embarrassing result.
Wigan were crushed 62-0 at Wakefield five days before last week’s 26-12 win over Tigers and tomorrow will be Hull KR’s first game since they were dumped out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup by Kingstone Press Championship part-timers Oldham.
“We are playing against a team who have got rattled a bit,” Powell observed.
“We haven’t looked too much at their game last week, if you do that you get a false impression of what you are going into.
“We have just got to focus on what they are capable of doing.
“It doesn’t really matter if they respond or not, we are preparing to face a team at their best. This game is important for us and we need to play well.
“Our season could still go either way, but we expect it to go upwards – that’s what we are capable of.”
Larne Patrick, signed on loan from Huddersfield Giants until the end of the season, could make his Tigers debut tomorrow.
Junior Moors and Gadwin Springer are both named in the initial 19-man squad after injury and Ryan Boyle and Jy Hitchcox could also feature.
Tigers’ Challenge Cup sixth round tie at home to Salford Red Devils will be played on Saturday, May 7 (2.30pm) and broadcast live by the BBC.
Castleford Tigers: from Monaghan, Webster, Solomona, Gale, Lynch, Milner, Millington, McMeeken, Massey, Jewitt, McShane, Cook, Moors, Hampshire, Boyle, Springer, Minikin, Hitchcox, Patrick.
Hull KR: from Allgood, Blair, Boudebza, Clarkson, Cockayne, Donaldson, Green, Horne, Kelly, Lawler, Lunt, Marsh, Minns, Mulhern, Sio, Thornley, Tilse, Walker, Wardill.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3.30pm.