'Meet fire with fire': Andy Last outlines Castleford Tigers' plan for Wakefield Trinity derby four-pointer
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“The last time they played against us at our place they put in a really strong performance and probably wanted it a bit more,” Tigers interim-coach Andy Last recalled.
“This week the guys know the importance of the game, not only to us as a team, but also to the people on the terraces.
“I am expecting a full-blooded affair. Their coach Mark Applegarth will have them pumped for it and we need to make sure we meet fire with fire.”
After just one victory in their opening seven games, Tigers are 11th in the table with only winless Trinity below them.
The Easter fixture has been dubbed a four-pointer, but Last insisted his main concern is finding some consistency of performance.
He said: “We had a good performance against Leeds, we were poor against Warrington, we played well against Catalans; we need to make sure we back up good performances for three or four weeks at a time rather than one week on and one week off.”
Tigers took a step in the right direction last Saturday, going within four minutes of beating Catalans Dragons in Perpignan before a late converted try condemned them to a 22-18 defeat.
Last - who confirmed Tigers are “actively looking” to strengthen their squad - admitted the players returned to work this week “a bit sore and a bit down”, but said a video review of the game raised their spirits.
“There were so many positives to take,” he stressed, “We competed hard, for long periods and we scored some nice tries.
“We turned away some good attacks from Catalans and those are the things we need to do on a more consistent basis.
“If we do that on Thursday night we’ll get a solid performance and if we get a solid performance, hopefully that’ll take care of the result.”
Niall Evalds has been named in Tigers’ initial squad after injury and loan signing from Hull KR Luis Johnson could make his debut.
Jason Qareqare and Jacob Hookem are also added to the 17 on duty in France, but Gareth Widdop has not recovered from a virus which kept him out of last week’s game.