A RESPONSE is what coach Daryl Powell will be looking for from his Castleford Tigers side when they play host to Salford Red Devils tomorrow.
Tigers suffered their first defeat of the season eight days ago when they went down 28-22 at St Helens.
And Powell reckons that makes tomorrow’s second home game of the year even more important as Tigers battle to keep up with the early pace setters.
“We’ve started the season pretty well,” Powell said. “We were really unlucky with injuries last week and they made life tough for us.
“But you’re not going to win all your games and it’s how you respond that’s important.
“We have looked at a few areas and we’ll look to respond and get a good performance.”
Powell declined to comment on the return of Justin Carney, who joined Salford on a season-long loan from Tigers at the end of last season.
But he reckons tomorrow’s visitors are dangerous opposition. He said: “They’ve been a breath of fresh air.
“They’ve recruited well and they look like they’ve got some real stability as a team.
“They’ve got a pretty smart operator there in [head of rugby] Tim Sheens and [coach] Ian Watson is doing a good job.
“Robert Lui has been a great signing for them and as a forward pack they really challenge you.
“They will be a challenge for us and we have got to play really well.”
Ryan Hampshire, on loan from Wigan, will make his Tigers debut tomorrow.
He is set to replace the injured Ben Roberts at stand-off.
Grant Millington and Junior Moors are also out after being hurt last week, but Oliver Holmes, Ryan Boyle and Joel Monaghan are available after injury and Gadwin Springer is also in contention.
Phil Joseph, Ryan Lannon and Matt Sarsfield are vying for a place in Salford’s 17. Jordan Walne drops out from the team beaten by Warrington Wolves last week.
Castleford Tigers from: Dorn, Hitchcox, Crooks, Webster, Solomona, Hampshire, Gale, Lynch, McShane, Massey, O Holmes, McMeeken, Jewitt, Milner, Maher, Cook, Boyle, Monaghan, Springer.
Salford Red Devils from: O’Brien, Carney, Sa’u, J Griffin, Johnson, Lui, Dobson, Kopczak, Lee, G Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Jones, Flanagan, Evalds, A Walne, Tomkins, Joseph, Lannon, Sarsfield.
Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3.30pm.