RECENT RESULTS have shown how hard fought Betfred Super League now is, Castleford Tigers forward Matt Cook reckons.
Tigers were unbeaten in their first four matches, but have won only two of the following six.
Their latest defeat was at Huddersfield Giants whose record is the exact opposite and Cook warned: “You have to be at your best each week, you can’t take anything for granted.”
He said: “Anyone can win.
“There’s only really Saints and Warrington at the moment that are kind of breaking away from the rest of the pack.
“Some games you are thinking that will be an easy win for someone and it turns out not to be.
It’s an interesting Easter period, but we’ll just strap up and get out there and give it our all.Matt Cook
“It is a close league at the moment and we’ve played nearly everyone once.
“We’ve just got Wakefield [on Thursday] and then we will have had a crack at everyone and you’ll really know where you’re at then. It is going to be a tough season, but there’s plenty of time to improve and be in it at the back end of the year.”
Tigers led four times against Huddersfield, including at half-time, but never managed to get a grip of the game.
Cook admitted: “It was a frustrating end, a bit like the Leeds game for us.
“We were definitely in it right up until the end and, maybe with a bit more composure, we could have come away with the two points. But hats off to Huddersfield; they kept sticking at it as well and they wouldn’t go away and they got it in the end.
“There were some more positives signs; at least our first half was a bit better, we were a bit more at the races, but still we are leaving it to the second half to really have a good crack.
“It was a tough game and Huddersfield were good.
“They were strong up the middle, they’ve got a good pack and they deserved the two points.”
Tigers face a tough Easter with the home derby against Wakefield Trinity followed by an Easter Monday trip to Catalans Dragons.
“Wakefield’s a derby game and that’s always big,” Cook noted.
“They are a big set of lads and they are playing well at the moment.
“Then it’s Catalans away and they are going to want to get payback for round one when we beat them at home.
“It’s an interesting Easter period, but we’ll just strap up and get out there and give it our all and hopefully we can start getting some points back on the board.”
Cook has been consistently good for Tigers this year and of his own form he said: “I am pretty happy.
“I feel like I am getting fitter each week and I am pretty happy with my offence at the moment.
“There’s still a fair bit of work to do in defence, to keep improving on.
“There’s a lot of competition in our pack.
“We have picked up a couple of knocks over the last few weeks in the forwards, but there’s still ample competition there and, if you’re not at your best, the boss will leave you out, so I am trying to make sure I am playing at my best every week.”