castleford tigers are well equipped to come through the busy Easter period in good shape, coach Daryl Powell says.
Tigers begin their holiday programme tomorrow with a trip to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats before the visit of Warrington Wolves on Monday afternoon.
Last Friday’s second defeat of the season, at home to St Helens, dropped Tigers one place to third in First Utility Super League, but Powell reckons confidence is high going into what could be a defining period in the season.
Looking ahead to the Easter double-header, Powell said: “We haven’t got a lot of travel – it is a pretty short distance to Wakefield and then we are at home against Warrington.
“We could not ask any more than that. That is in our favour and also we have got a pretty deep squad, which is reasonably healthy.
“Hopefully we will come through Friday okay and I think physically we are pretty well-equipped for the Easter period.
“Hopefully mentally we are well-equipped as well. It’s a time in the season when you have to be tough.
“I know a lot of people complain about it, but it is what it is and you just have to get on with it.
“Rugby league is a tough sport played by tough people and you won’t hear us complaining. We will just get on with the job.”
Powell stressed Tigers won’t be taking anything for granted against struggling Wildcats.
“I think we should be confident, the way we are playing at the moment,” he said.
“We have been going pretty well, but our focus is one taking one game at a time.
“They (Wildcats) are going to respond to what has been happening to them recently. It is a derby, they are at home and I expect their players will be giving everything they can to win the game.
“We aren’t taking anything for granted, but we are focusing on playing well, performing and getting on with the job.
“That is what we have been talking about this week.”
Tigers – along with Widnes Vikings – have been the surprise package of the season so far and, with tomorrow’s game marking a third of the way through the regular campaign, they look well on course for a top-eight finish, at least.
Powell said: “We are taking steps forward every week and I thought we were excellent in the first half last Friday in pretty much every department of the game. That is what we are looking to carry with us into this week and we are also looking to learn some lessons from the setbacks we had within the game. If we do that, last week’s game could be a real defining moment in our season.
“We know we can go toe-to-toe with anybody and we have shown that by beating Wigan and pushing St Helens all the way. If we can learn lessons from things that are derailing us at the moment we will be an even better team.”
Luke Dorn and Jake Webster are out from the Tigers side which lost to St Helens, with Richard Owen, Jamie Ellis, Michael Channing and Scott Wheeldon all set to return.
Wakefield Wildcats: from Sammut, Fox, Collis, Ryan, Riley, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Scruton, Kirmond, Washbrook, Annakin, Raleigh, Moore, Siejka, Mathers, Lyne, Smith.
Castleford Tigers: from Owen, Clare, Channing, Shenton, Carney, Sneyd, Finn, Lynch, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Millington, Milner, Massey, Boyle, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis.
Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.