SETTING THE record straight is the goal for Castleford Tigers in tonight’s home clash with Salford Red Devils.
Third-placed Salford inflicted Tigers’ first defeat of the season, 13-12 at AJ Bell Stadium in March and are the only team top-flight team Castleford haven’t beaten this year.
That has been a topic of conversation in the Cas camp this week and forward Jesse Sene-Lefao insisted they “100 per cent” want to right the wrong.
“Salford have been going well this season,” Sene-Lefao observed. “They beat us at the beginning of the year and that’s fresh in our minds.
“We know they’ll come after us like every team, but we’re excited.
“We lost at their home ground and now they come here playing in front of our fans.
“Other teams don’t like that. It’s a credit to us; we love playing here and love seeing our fans show up in big numbers.”
Tigers go into Betfred Super League round 22 with an eight-point lead in the table, but Sene-Lefao reckons performances have dipped slightly in recent weeks and that is something else they are looking to put right.
“We don’t want to look at how many points we’re ahead at the top or anything like that,” he insisted.
“The last two weeks we’ve just scraped those wins. We know every team that’s playing us will come here playing their best footy so we need to match that and also find another level to win the game.
“Each and every week is a different challenge. The last two weeks really took us right to the line.
“For some players it’s just a learning curve for the big games coming up and if we can keep working on that I feel like we can turn it on in the big games.”
Sene-Lefao’s battle with rival second rower Ben Murdoch-Masila is set to be the highlight of tonight’s showdown. Both have been in explosive form and the Tigers man said: “He’s certainly playing well for Salford and that’s something we need to work on this week, to stop his momentum.
“He’s one of their key players, but having said that we’re a threat as well so it will be a good match up.
“He’s hard to tackle, is scoring a lot of tries and proving hard to handle. We need to limit his opportunities.”
Tigers will be without Adam Milner (ankle), Jake Webster (ribs) and Larne Patrick, whose injury has not been disclosed, from last week’s side.
Jy Hitchox, Tom Holmes, Kevin Larroyer, Joel Monaghan and Jake Trueman are all vying to replace them in the 17.
Salford’s Junior Sa’u is serving a one-game ban and Greg Johnson, Craig Kopczak and Kriss Brining also drop out from the team which lost to Leeds Rhinos last Sunday. Dan Murray, Jake Bibby, James Hasson, Jordan Walne, Logan Tomkins and Todd Carney are all in contention for a call-up.
Castleford Tigers: from Eden, Foster, Gale, Hardaker, Hitchcox, T Holmes, Larroyer, Lynch, Massey, McMeeken, McShane, Millington, Minikin, Monaghan, Roberts, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Springer, Trueman.
Salford Red Devils: from Murdoch-Masila, Murray, O’Brien, Griffin, Bibby, Hasson, J Walne, Jones, Wood, Welham, Tasi, Tomkins, Dobson, Evalds, Krasniqi, Lui, Lannon, Carney, Hauraki.
Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.