BOSS DARYL Powell reckons Castleford Tigers are better prepared for a title push now than they were a year ago.
Tigers topped Betfred Super League in 2017, but needed a late equalising penalty and then sudden-death extra-time to win a home play-off against St Helens before Leeds Rhinos dashed their hopes at Old Trafford.
Powell’s side have already secured their semi-final place ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Huddersfield Giants in the Super-8s and he said: “I think we’ve learned some lessons from the way we played in the Grand Final – and on not getting rattled by the way a team plays against us.
“If they get the ascendancy we have some durability about us at the moment when we’re having to defend.”
The coach expects Tigers’ improved defence to be tested tomorrow. Giants are out of the running for the top four, but won 32-16 when they visited the Jungle in July.
“It’s an opportunity for us to keep improving,” Powell said of tomorrow’s game.
“We defended outstandingly well [at Hull] last week and we need to do that again against Huddersfield. They caused us a lot of trouble when they played here the other week and we’re going to need to improve on that performance, but I think our last three performances, particularly defensively, have been good.
“There is a real aggression about our defensive effort and we’re in a good place.”