LAST WEEK’S epic win at Wigan Warriors will mean nothing if Castleford Tigers can’t back it up, coach Daryl Powell has warned his players.
Tigers return to action tomorrow at home to a St Helens side who are desperately hanging on to Super League’s eighth and final play-offs spot.
With star winger Justin Carney back in contention after completing a three-game ban, Tigers are in confident mood as they chase a third straight win.
Powell said Tigers have a spring in their step following their first away win for more than a year, but he insisted: “There’s a realisation there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“We’ve been a bit lighter after the Wigan game, but we’ve built up through the week and there’s an intensity about us.
“There needs to be, everyone’s talking about St Helens’ doom and gloom, but we can’t get wrapped up in that.
“We have to come up with a top-quality performance. We are at home and our run is three straight wins here, so we want to add to that, but ultimately we need to get the performance right.
“We are starting to get that. We are getting a lot of things right at the moment – but it’s that consistent effort from everybody that we are after.
“The players are aware of it and they are talking about it as much as I am.
“The key from our point of view is to come up with another consistent effort. That has been a pretty big challenge for us over recent times and it’s something we need to be really conscious of.”
Saints’ poor form has been one of the talking points of the season, but Powell isn’t taking them lightly.
“It’s a tough competition,” he said.
“They’ve been hampered a bit by injuries, but they’ve got a lot of good players and some of their better players back now.
“They are going to be a challenge for us, there’s no doubt about that.
“There’s no point thinking St Helens playing poorly last week or the week before is going to help us.
“It’s a game we need to focus on, not look back too much, just keep doing what we’re doing and be better in certain areas.”
James Clare drops out from Tigers’ squad to make way for Carney.
Ben Davies is available after a hamstring injury and Jamie Ellis – not used for the last two games – is also included.
Greg Richards is in contention to make his Saints debut and Paul Clough and Luke Thompson could get a recall, with Stuart Howarth dropping out from the side beaten by Hull Kingston Rovers last week.
Tigers won two of their three games during Carney’s ban – his third of the season – but Powell said his return will give them a lift.
“It’s tough on whoever misses out,” admitted the coach.
“But he is one of those players who you’d have in your team if you had the opportunity.
“The form line of the team is great and he’s coming into a confident group, so I’m looking forward to seeing him back.”
Castleford Tigers: from Tansey, Owen, Shenton, Dixon, Carney, Hauraki, Chase, Boyle, Milner, Huby, Holmes, Millington, Massey, Thompson, Clark, Walker, Mason, Davies, Ellis.
St Helens: from Lomax, Makinson, Turner, Jones, Meli, Wellens, O’Brien, Puletua, Roby, Laffranchi, Clough, Manu, Wilkin, Hohaia, mcCarthy-Scarsbrook, Greenwood, Walmsley, Thompson, Richards.
Referee: George Stokes (Wigan).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3.30pm.