A TOUGH finish to the Betfred Super-8s is ideal for Castleford Tigers, stand-off Ben Roberts says.
The league leaders have three games to play before a home semi-final, beginning against Leeds Rhinos at the Jungle on Friday night.
The hardest fixtures have come last for Tigers and Roberts reckons that is what they would have chosen ahead of two – they hope – sudden-death games.
“We have got Leeds this week, then Wigan and Hull,” Roberts pointed out.
“They are probably three of the toughest teams you could get at the back end.
“For us it is a good opportunity to build a bit of momentum and get our game right heading into the semi-final.”
“We have got Leeds this week, then Wigan and Hull. They are probably three of the toughest teams you could get at the back end.”Ben Roberts
Roberts reckons Tigers can be encouraged by the way they stepped up a gear when needed in last week’s 24-16 win at Huddersfield Giants, after trailing 12-6 at the break.
“Credit to the boys,” he said.
“We probably started off a bit slow and were a bit scrappy, but we knew if we could push the reset button and go again we had what was needed to get the win.
“In the first half we were scrappy with the ball and without the ball.
“We conceded a couple of soft penalties and we knew if we could clean that up and get our attacking game right we would be able to come away with the win. It was going to be probably the toughest game to get up for mentally out of the last four.
“They came to play and came to win, but unfortunately for them we hung in there and played some good footy in the end.”
Huddersfield applied pressure for spells and Roberts added: “We defended better in the second half.
“I think in the first half we probably left them standing a bit, which is something we need to work on this week.
“Hopefully we can improve on that against Leeds, but the second half was a bit better.”
Roberts began the fightback with a solo try and was delighted to see a training-ground move pay for Tigers’ final touchdown.
He said: “The try Greg Eden set up is something we practice a fair bit at training and it was good to see us put it in the game and for it to come off.
“For myself, it was just a matter of spotting a hole and going for it.
“Luckily for me, I got through.
“It was a big surprise for me as much as anyone else – I thought I must have run a shepherd or something because the gap was just there.
“But it was good to get a try because I haven’t had one for a couple of games.”