Castleford Tigers: Cagey Tigers taking '˜eights' one game at a time says forward Watts

Power-packed Cas forward, Liam Watts.Power-packed Cas forward, Liam Watts.
Power-packed Cas forward, Liam Watts.
CASTLEFORD TIGERS are confident of a second successive Grand Final appearance, prop Liam Watts insists.

Last year’s Old Trafford runners-up dropped a place to fourth in the Betfred Super-8s after last Friday’s 22-20 loss at second-placed Wigan Warriors. Friday’s visitors Warrington Wolves are third, ahead of Cas on points difference and there is a six-point gap to nearest chasers Huddersfield Giants.

Assessing Tigers’ chances, Watts said: “It’s a stepping stone this week and we believe we are good enough to get to the final.

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“We are taking it week by week, but us, Wigan and Warrington are all within touching distance so every game is important for us.

“You’ve got Huddersfield and Catalans who are on a roll and making ground up, but there’s still a bit of a buffer there and if we beat Warrington on Friday we’ll go back above them and go into third.

“We want a home semi’, but that’s another six weeks down the line yet and we’re just taking it week by week. We’re looking for a response this week. We need to be picking up wins.”

Friday’s game is likely to be won in the pack and Watts, who played 80 minutes against Wigan, is looking forward to the challenge. He said: “It’s going to be a tough forward battle and that’s where I play so I’ll be in the middle of it all.

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“They’ve got a lot of big men, their middles are strong, but we’ve got a big team and have got a few players back so we’ll be matching them up front.”

Though Warrington are gearing up for a trip to Wembley, to face Catalans Dragons, in 10 days’ time, Watts doesn’t expect them to hold back this week.

“Hopefully they will have one eye on the Challenge Cup final, but I’m sure they will be coming with the mentality that they want to beat us,” he predicted. “I’m sure they will bring their strongest side and won’t be resting players. If I was playing in the Challenge Cup final I would want to play and you want a big performance going into it. It’s all mental then.

“They’ll be wanting to give it to us in the first half, especially after watching that first half we had against Wigan. They will have reviewed us and identified weaknesses, but we’ve made changes in certain positions and we’ll see how it goes.”