TOMORROW’S HOSTS Hull KR are fighting for their Betfred Super League lives, but they won’t be more desperate than Castleford Tigers.
That’s the message from Tigers coach Daryl Powell as his men look to turn back-to-back wins into a hat-trick and strengthen their hold on a top-five spot.
“It’s momentum and consistency - we have been talking about that for a few weeks now,” Powell said.
“We have got an opportunity. Clearly they are a desperate team we will be playing against, but we are desperate to be in the top-five.
“We need to show that in our performance. I have asked the players ‘what do we want to be, what do we want to do this year’?
“I think the Grand Final is wide open and we have a chance of being there. That has got to create a desperation and an intensity that drives us for the remainder for the season.”
After a lengthy midseason dip, when they failed to win successive games between March and July, Tigers’ form is picking up for the business end of the year.
“We have won three out of the last four games,” Powell pointed out.
“London came up to play us on the back of a really good run and we were really good and really intense in that game.
“We had a bit of a dip the week after against Leeds, then we were pretty strong, I thought, against Wakefield and we played Warrington and beat them.
“People talk about form guides and three from four is a decent run. It is something we speak about a lot and we have got a good opportunity to build on that.
“As a result of that this is a really key game for us.”
Hull KR began round 24 second from bottom, ahead of London Broncos on points difference.
In their last four games they have beaten Hull and won at Leeds Rhinos, but were crushed away to Wigan Warriors and pipped at home by Huddersfield Giants last time out.
Powell observed: “Huddersfield just out-lasted them in tough conditions.
“They were pretty good against Leeds, but Leeds made too many errors in that game.
“They are tricky because Danny McGuire and Josh Drinkwater have really good short kicking games.
“They are scoring tries on third plays from kicks. That makes them a little bit unpredictable, which is tough to defend against.
“They are a bit inconsistent and they are at that end of the table because of that, but there’s plenty of other teams like that as well.
“A team that can rack a run of form together ends up being in a really great place.”
Tigers will be without suspended hooker or emergency scrum-half Paul McShane so Jacques O’Neill has been called into their initial 19.
Greg Eden is set for a recall in place of Tuoyo Egodo and Cheyse Blair and Will Maher are also in contention.
Hull KR could give debuts to Jez Litten and Dean Hadley, signed this week from Hull, but are without Kane Linnett due to a calf injury.
Hull KR: from Quinlan, Hall, Crooks, Keinhorst, Shaw, McGuire, Mulhern, Masoe, Tomkins, Hauraki, Garbutt, Atkin, Addy, Lawler, Drinkwater, Harrison, Murray, Hadley, Litten.
Castleford Tigers: from Aston, Blair, Clare, Clarkson, Eden, Holmes, Maher, Massey, Mata’utia, McMeeken, Millington, Milner, Minikin, O’Neill, Rankin, Sene-Lefao, Smith, Trueman, Watts.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.