Target of Old Trafford sees Castleford Tigers’ Greg Eden put try record to one side

OVER THE LINE: Castleford's Greg Eden, scoring a try against St Helens in May this year. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
OVER THE LINE: Castleford's Greg Eden, scoring a try against St Helens in May this year. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
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IT HAS been a remarkable season for Castleford Tigers winger Greg Eden, but he is hopeful the best is yet to come.

Eden is on the verge of a place in the record books and was this week named in the 2017 Betfred Super League Dream Team.

But those honours will pale into insignificance if Tigers beat St Helens in tomorrow’s home play-off and go on to win the Grand Final at Old Trafford nine days later.

Eden began his career at Castleford before spells with Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, Salford Red Devils and Brisbane Broncos and admitted his first season back at his home-town club has gone “a lot better than I expected”.

He said: “We have had a great season and to be able to do the things we have done as a team this year is outstanding.

“The best thing is we’ve not finished yet, we’ve still got things to do.

Greg Eden dives over for the Tigers third try.
Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers.  BetFred SuperLeague Super 8's.  
John Smiths Stadium.  
31 August 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Greg Eden dives over for the Tigers third try. Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers. BetFred SuperLeague Super 8's. John Smiths Stadium. 31 August 2017. Picture Bruce Rollinson

“This is probably one of our biggest weeks all year – we have got our biggest game of the season coming up on Thursday and everything is geared up to ensuring we get to Old Trafford.

“It is a big dream of mine to get there and I am sure it is for the rest of the boys as well.”

Eden needs one try to equal Denny Solomona’s club record set last season.

The 26-year-old – signed from Brisbane Broncos – has touched down 41 times in 29 games, one fewer than Solomona managed in as many appearances during 2016.

Obviously I am thinking about it because everyone keeps telling me and it’s hard not to. But it’s important I don’t think about it too much. If it happens, it happens.

Castleford Tigers’ Greg Eden

Two tries would see Eden equal the record for a Super League season, also held by Solomona, who touched down 40 times in the competition last year.

The records he could set over the next couple of weeks are a bonus as far as Eden is concerned.

“Obviously I am thinking about it because everyone keeps telling me and it’s hard not to,” he said.

“But it’s important I don’t think about it too much. If it happens, it happens.

Castleford Tigers' Greg Eden in action against Hull FC last week. Picture: Matthew Merrick/RL Photos

Castleford Tigers' Greg Eden in action against Hull FC last week. Picture: Matthew Merrick/RL Photos

“I am just going to be doing what’s best for the team and if that’s finishing tries when I get the opportunities so be it, but that’s not the be-all and end-all.”

Saints finished fourth on the Super-8s table, a distant 17 points behind Tigers, but they beat Castleford 26-22 on their own ground in April and recorded a 26-12 victory at The Jungle four months later.

Tigers have also picked up two home wins against Saints this season and Eden reckons past results will have no bearing.

“We fancy ourselves against anyone really, on our day,” he said. “As long as we do what we are capable of and get everything right on the day, I think we are more than capable of doing it.”

The weight of expectation is on Tigers after they won the league leaders’ shield by 10 points, but Eden insisted: “Myself, I am not really feeling that much pressure. I believe in our team and our ability. I believe we can do it and if everyone does their job and we do what we have done all year, then I am quite confident.

“In the Super-8s, when we had won the league leaders’ shield and we still had a few games left, we still managed to keep our heads on and win the majority of games.

“We had one slip-up last week against Hull, but we had a lot of personnel changes and we had changes to key combinations – I was at full-back and we had two new halves in there.

“It was difficult to get used to in a week, but we will put that behind us and, hopefully, we’ll get everything right this week.”

Luke Gale, who had his appendix removed two weeks ago, has been named in Tigers’ initial 19-man squad for tomorrow. Zak Hardaker, Nathan Massey, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Junior Moors and Michael Shenton could all return, with Tuoyo Egodo, Jy Hitchcox, Tom Holmes, Jake Trueman, Kevin Larroyer and Will Maher dropping out.

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