CASTLEFORD TIGERS don’t plan to do anything different when they take on Hull tonight. The aim is to do the same things, better.
Tigers are seven points clear of second-placed Hull in the Betfred Super League table, but two of their four defeats this year have come against the black and whites at KCOM Stadium, including a painful Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final exit 12 days ago.
“I don’t think we played particularly well last time we met them and they were good – they played well,” Tigers coach Daryl Powell said of tonight’s opponents.
“We have got to be good, but we don’t need to do anything different – we’ve just got to do it better. We scored four tries to three the first time and it was four tries each the second.
“I don’t think there’s an awful lot between the teams. Even though I am saying we haven’t played to our potential, the games have been quite close.
“They have had a better attitude and I don’t think you can be off attitude-wise against anybody in Super League, especially a team that’s got as many good players as Hull have.”
Tigers’ main motivation is to right the wrongs from earlier in the season, but victory would move them closer to the league leaders’ shield and Powell insisted he is not a coach who refuses to look at the table.
He said: “That’s what we are here for. You do look at it sometimes and get satisfaction from it, but you have to put that behind you pretty quickly.
“We want to keep gaining points because, ultimately, we’ve not won anything yet. We want to keep accumulating points and putting distance between ourselves and our competitors.
“We recognise at the end of the season there will be some big, one-off games, but at the moment it is all about the two points and keeping checking them off.”
Of Hull, Powell said: “They’re a pretty physical side. They are a tough side to break down when they are on – and they’ve been on against us twice.
“They defend well and they work hard for each other.
“We are not expecting anything but their best against us and that’s what we’re getting from most teams at the moment.
“We are there to be shot at and teams are coming and shooting at us. We have got to keep going and keep playing well.”
Tigers captain Michael Shenton will return from injury in place of Greg Minikin and Joel Monaghan and Kevin Larroyer are also vying for a recall.
Albert Kelly and Mark Minichiello are back for Hull after missing last weekend’s win over Wakefield Trinity.
Masimbaashe Matongo is also in contention, with Steve Michaels (ankle injury) dropping out.
Castleford Tigers: Hardaker, Webster, Shenton, Eden, Gale, McShane, Millington, McMeeken, Milner, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Roberts, Springer, Patrick, Monaghan, T Holmes, Hitchcox, Larroyer, Foster.
Hull: from Shaul, Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Connor, Thompson, Washbrook, Manu, Bowden, Turgut, Fash, Matongo.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.