CONSISTENCY WAS the buzzword in Castleford Tigers’ changing rooms after their 18-10 home loss to Leeds Rhinos.
Tigers failed to back up from an impressive 42-10 hammering of London Broncos five days earlier and that has been the story of their season so far.
A good performance has tended to be followed by a poor one and half-back Cory Aston admitted that is something Tigers’ players are painfully aware of.
“The main word we’ve been talking about for the last three or four weeks is consistency,” Aston revealed.
“That is what we are struggling to get at the minute, a little bit of consistency within everything we do.
“In the sheds that is what we were talking about.
“One week we will be gold, one week we are rocks.
“We’ve just got to find that consistency, so it’s back to the drawing board and keep working hard.”
On their day Tigers are confident of beating anyone in Betfred Super League but, with only eight games left in the regular season, those days have to happen more often.
“We have shown we have got capabilities to unlock any team,” added Aston, who spent the 2017 season at Leeds without making a first-team appearance.
“But we slip up, we have knock-offs for one play and that can cost you the game. It’s just little things that are costing us big in the end. It is a tough one to take.”
A top-five finish – and qualification for the play-offs – is still within Tigers’ grasp.
Though St Helens are running away with top spot, the table remains tight below them, but Aston fears Castleford’s campaign will peter out if they don’t start stringing a run of wins together soon.
“We have talked about it,” he said. “If we are going to achieve what we want to achieve this year something has got to change within the next week or two and we have got to start winning games. Otherwise we are going to go through this year not achieving anything and just being a mid-table team. That’s not what we want to be, we want to be a top-five team and to do that we have to change something soon.”
Tigers, who visit Wakefield on Friday, had enough possession and territory to beat Leeds, but managed only two tries, back-to-back, midway through the second half. At that stage, with Leeds having been under the cosh, they looked to be taking control, but a wild pass near their own line was punished by the visitors’ third touchdown and there was no way back.
“We believed we were going to get them at the back end of the game, in the last 20 minutes,” Aston confirmed. “We had a lot of possession on their line early on and we didn’t score. Credit to them, they defended really well and they scrambled well for each other. We made breaks and they got back. They showed a lot of desperation, but we hung in there and we thought late on we would crack them.
“We were close to doing that, but there was a momentum change and we were back to square one and behind on the scoreboard.”