'If we can finish fifth it'll be an unbelievable achievement': Castleford Tigers coach Lee Radford sets target ahead of Catalans Dragons clash

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Castleford Tigers have some making up to do when they play host to Catalans Dragons tomorrow, coach Lee Radford says.

Tigers were crushed 44-12 in Perpignan at the end of April and Radford has challenged his men to set the record straight.

“Physically we were completely dominated over there,” Radford recalled.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We had a really short turnaround going into the game and very little time on the [training] field, but I don’t think we got ourselves right mentally to go over there and perform.

Alex Mellor could make his Tigers debut on Sunday. Picture by Tom Maguire/Castleford Tigers.Alex Mellor could make his Tigers debut on Sunday. Picture by Tom Maguire/Castleford Tigers.
Alex Mellor could make his Tigers debut on Sunday. Picture by Tom Maguire/Castleford Tigers.

“This week we have to make sure we are emotionally right for the game.”

Tomorrow could be a pivotal fixture for Tigers who began Betfred Super League round 16 in sixth spot on the table, two points behind fifth-placed Hull.

Their play-offs spot is far from secure, but Radford reckons Cas should be looking up the table.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think if this club can finish fifth it would be an unbelievable achievement,” he said.

“I think we will have milked a fair bit out of this group to finish there.”

Read More
Alex Mellor reveals inside story of mid-season move from Leeds Rhinos to Castlef...

But he admitted: “We have thrown the odd really poor performance in, the last time at Catalans.

“From a consistency point of view, that’s always a frustration as a coach, but looking back, overall I think we’ve had one or two key blokes missing throughout the year in certain positions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“To a point, some things can be expected, but I think there’s a lot more in us.

“There’s still a lot of twists and turns to come.

“The top four teams have been consistent, but for the rest of us, there’s been some inconsistency there and I think whoever can fix that up the quickest and get a bit of momentum going can push for that fifth spot.”

Interruptions for Challenge Cup rounds and the mid-season international have helped with Tigers’ injury crisis, but now they are out of the way, Radford is relishing week-in, week-out rugby until the end of the campaign.

He said: “I think it gives you an opportunity to gather some momentum.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think the weather makes a difference as well in the footy you play at this time of year.

“You tend to see the best rugby at this time of year and hopefully we can continue to get some blokes back.

“We’ve had a fair injury list for a while, but we’ve cracked on and the blokes stepping in have done a decent job.”

Tigers could give a debut to Alex Mellor, their new second-row signing from Leeds Rhinos and Jake Mamo is in contention following a spell on compassionate leave.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Radford is hopeful long-term casualty Niall Evalds will be available for next Friday’s home game against Huddersfield Giants.

Half-back Josh Drinkwater could return for Catalans following a foot injury.

Castleford Tigers: from Olpherts, Mamo, Faraimo, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Lawler, Edwards, Milner, Westerman, Massey, Griffin, Fonua, Smith, Eden, Blair, Matagi, Hampshire, Martin, Mellor.

Catalans Dragons: Davies, Langi, Yaha, Pearce, Drinkwater, Dudson, McIlorum, Bousquet, Whitley, McMeeken, Garcia, Jullien, Seguier, Goudemand, Laguerre, Romano, May, Napa, Chan, Kasiano, Tomkins.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths (Widnes).

Kick-off Tomorrow, 3.30pm.