STAR WINGER Greg Eden reckons Castleford Tigers are in better shape to go on and win the Grand Final now than 12 months ago.
Tigers finished 10 points clear at the top of Betfred Super League in 2017, but almost came unstuck in a home semi-final against St Helens before losing to Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford.
They have been more inconsistent this season and are third in the table with two rounds remaining in the Super-8s, but last Friday’s 44-12 demolition of Huddersfield Giants was their fourth successive win and key players are returning from injury.
Eden said: “If you look at last year, we were the form side all year and we fell off it at the last hurdle.
“We have kind of reversed that this year. We are up there in the top four and we’re playing pretty well.
“Obviously we were better off in the table last year, but the way we are playing now I think we are in a better position.”
Tigers have two more games, against visitors Wakefield Trinity on Friday and at St Helens the following week, to tune up for their semi-final which is likely to be away to Wigan Warriors.
They trailed 12-4 in the first half against Huddersfield, but were rock solid in defence after that and scored five tries in the final quarter.
“It was a good win for us,” Eden said. “The first half was a bit of a battle and then we started running away with it in the second half.
“They put up a good fight in that first half and I think they are close to a top-four team if they didn’t have such a bad start to the season so I think we’ve done well.
“We got a lot of good stuff out of it. We were dominant in defence and did some good attack as well.
“We just need to keep building towards the semi’ and start getting some momentum going. Defence is one of our big focus points.
“As long as we can keep that going we’ve got some quite flairy players in our team who can finish and create points so that should just come.”
Eden is, of course, one of those players.
Last season’s leading try scorer has been hampered by injury this term, but the opening touchdown against Huddersfield was his 11th in six games.
“I’ve started finding a little bit of form,” he said.
“There’s still loads to improve, but each week as a team we are working to get better.
“I got another try on Friday to add to the tally so I will just keep working on that and on the back-field stuff as well.
“I am happy with the way it is going.”