CASTLEFORD TIGERS will travel to Hull KR tonight determined to kick-on from last Sunday’s 56-16 demolition of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
The Magic Weekend victory was Tigers’ first in three league games and reignited their hopes of a top-four finish – and an extra home game in the Super-8s.
Round 17 of First Utility Super League began with Tigers in sixth spot, just two points outside the top-four and with a similar gap separating them and ninth place.
“It’s important, because the bottom half of the top-eight and the teams below that are all very close on points,” Cas’ second-row forward Oliver Holmes said of tonight’s game.
Rovers are third from bottom, but only four points behind Tigers and Holmes added: “One game can spin it round, you can drop in or out. It is very tight and we just need to build on what we did last week.
“We’ve spoken in recent weeks about being consistent in games, week-in and week-out. If we can do that and build on last week, I can’t see us going far wrong.”
Tigers raced into a 16-0 lead over Wakefield inside 10 minutes, but were pegged back and went into the break only 22-16 up.
They stepped on the gas in the second half, running in 34 unanswered points and Holmes said that blistering attacking performance will send them into tonight’s game in buoyant mood – though it was their defensive effort which pleased him the most.
“We know we can score points,” he said. “But the second half showed how good our defence can be, we didn’t let a point in, which is obviously pretty good.
“We have worked a lot on our defence and I think that showed.”
Tigers will have to be on their defensive mettle again tonight. Rovers have scored three more points than Tigers this year, in one fewer game and Holmes admitted: “They have got a lot of play in them.
“They have got strike players in good positions. Especially at Hull KR, they are a tough team to beat – it is a very hostile place so our defence will have to be good, definitely.”
Rovers are smarting after a record 46-20 drubbing by Hull at the Magic Weekend, and Holmes said: “They will have had a big week’s training.
“They will be looking for a bit of a turnaround, especially at home, but we’ve got two big games coming up – Hull KR and Leeds.
“And if we win those we’ll be getting close to the top-four.
“That’s the aim and fingers crossed, if we work hard I don’t see any reasons why we can’t challenge.”