THEY ARE eight points clear at the top of Betfred Super League, but veteran forward Andy Lynch says Castleford Tigers have to improve.
Tigers trailed 16-0 at half-time of last Thursday’s derby against Wakefield Trinity before fighting back to win 25-24.
They have failed to score a try in two of their last three halves of rugby and Lynch reckons a similar performance against Salford Red Devils on Friday won’t be enough.
“Overall we were disappointed and the first 40 was probably the worst we’ve played in a long time,” Lynch said of last week’s game. “We showed a response in the second half, but I still thought we were miles off where we need to be. Wakefield played really well and threw a lot at us and we struggled to handle it, but I suppose it is a sign of a champion team to play that badly and get yourselves in a hole like that and come back and win the game.”
The win at Wakefield came a week after a 24-22 victory over Hull and Lynch said Tigers are learning important lessons.
“It’s not going to be easy every week,” he said. “We were 16-0 down at Wakey, but we knew if we performed half-decent we could come back and win the game.
“The character in the team is great, we dug deep and when we needed to we scored a try and then got the drop goal at the end to win the game.
“It was a disappointing performance, but two points is two points at the end of the day and it’s what we needed.”
Tigers are already guaranteed top spot at the end of the regular season, but Lynch said they won’t be easing off.
“Powelly [coach Daryl Powell], keeps talking to us and telling us we need to keep going,” he said. “We have got to keep our feet on the ground. We have won 10 straight now and it is hard to keep concentration.
“Teams want to come and knock us off. We are back at home this week and we know we’ve got another massive challenge against Salford.
“They are flying high and doing really well this year and it is going to be another massive test for us.
“We have got a lot of improving to do.”
Lynch – who will retire at the end of the season – has been in and out of the side in recent weeks, but says that is part of having such a strong squad.
“It is great to be back in and I enjoyed it [last week],” said the 37-year-old. “I will just take my opportunity when it arises. The squad depth this year is really strong and people are vying for places. The way I see it, I got a two-week break and it gave my body chance to recover. If I could play every two weeks it would be fantastic!”