Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Trinity: Business as usual for derby says McMeeken

Mike McMeeken.
Mike McMeeken.

Business as usual for derby says McMeeken

Tigers need just one point from their five remaining Betfred Super-8s fixtures to be crowned league leaders.

Daryl Powell.

Daryl Powell.

The club, which entered the Northern Rugby Football League in 1926, has never finished on top of the elite competition table so history could be made when Wakefield Trinity visit the Jungle this evening.

Last Friday’s 22-4 win at Salford Red Devils calmed Tigers’ nerves after they lost their opening Super-8s fixture at home to St Helens and McMeeken insisted they are treating tonight as just another game.

“We’re approaching it the same way we have done all year,” said the second-rower, who insisted Tigers will need to be at their best against a Trinity side who were “outstanding” in last week’s 38-6 win over Leeds Rhinos.

“We are taking it week by week. At the end of the day we want to win every game and this is no different.

Castleford Tigers fans celebrate.

Castleford Tigers fans celebrate.

“We are going into this one to get the two points and it’ll be the same for the rest of the season.”

Victory against Wakefield would leave Tigers with four effectively meaningless games – from their point of view – before a home semi-final, but McMeeken is confident they can keep their eye on the ball.

“We’ve got the players to do it,” he stated.

“There is no reason why not and I think we will be extremely annoyed with ourselves if we don’t.”

As well as the prospect of getting their hands of the league leaders’ shield, Tigers are determined to make up for a below-par performance in their previous home game.

“Saints deservedly won, but I thought we righted our wrongs last week with a good performance,” McMeeken added.

“We are looking forward to this one.

“We played well last week, Salford threw a lot at us and we had to make sure we were on our toes on our tryline.

“We can take a lot of positives out of that performance.”

For all their dominance so far this term, Tigers will need to win their semi-final and the big game at Old Trafford to be crowned champions.

All seven teams below Tigers have hopes of finishing in the top-four, making them potential semi-final opponents.

McMeeken stressed: “We need to make sure we get one over them in the Super-8s.

“We need to make sure we are performing each week.”

On a personal note, McMeeken has come a long way since being a member of the London Broncos team relegated three years ago.

He said: “One of the reasons I came up here was to work under Powelly [Daryl Powell] and his coaching staff and to win some silverware.

“We’re looking to get that silverware we’ve deserved this year.

“The fans have been outstanding this year and they deserve it as much as us, but mathematically it is not won yet so this is a vital two points for us.”