'We want to respond': Significant improvement demanded as Castleford Tigers prepare for Warrington Wolves test

It will take a “significant” improvement for Castleford Tigers to get back to winning ways against Warrington Wolves on Saturday, coach Lee Radford says.
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Tigers’ three-match winning run ended last Saturday when they were beaten 34-20 by Leeds Rhinos at the Magic Weekend.

Warrington kept their Betfred Super League top six hopes alive with a big defeat of Catalans Dragons and this week is their coach Daryl Powell’s first return to the Jungle since leaving Tigers at the end of last season.

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Radford will face a similar experience next Friday away to Hull and knows his opposite number will be in the spotlight, but insisted Tigers need to concentrate on the job at hand.

Gareth O'Brien is back in Tigers' squad after injury. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Gareth O'Brien is back in Tigers' squad after injury. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Gareth O'Brien is back in Tigers' squad after injury. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“The focus is very much on us and getting a response from our performance,” he pledged.

“I thought we did some things well last week, we need to continue to build on that and if we get our performance right, it will get us the two points.”

Warrington have had a miserable year, but will close to within two points of Tigers if they win.

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Radford warned: “I thought George Williams played his best game of the season for them last week.

Tigers coach Lee Radford. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.Tigers coach Lee Radford. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Tigers coach Lee Radford. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
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“At the beginning of the year people were tipping them to be first or second and when everybody’s firing, they won’t be far off.

“They haven’t been firing consistently, but this will be a big game for them.

“They will want to kick on from their last result, but we want to respond because of our result and our performance and even more so because we are at home.”

Warrington's former Tigers coach Daryl Powell. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Warrington's former Tigers coach Daryl Powell. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Warrington's former Tigers coach Daryl Powell. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
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Tigers let a 10-6 half-time lead slip against Leeds and Radford stressed they need to be much better during “that period when the game is in the balance and it’s there for the taking.”

He said: “The previous three weeks we came up with the answers in that period.

"I don’t think we did last Saturday, which was disappointing because it was a big stage.”

Liam Watts, who returned from a ban last week, has been hit by another two-game stand-down, but Nathan Massey and Paul McShane are available after suspension.

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Long-term casualty Gareth O’Brien is also named in Tigers’ initial squad and Cheyse Blair, Alex Sutcliffe and Jason Qarqare are others vying for a call up.

Despite McShane and O’Brien being included, Radford has not ruled out winger Greg Eden continuing at stand-off.

He said: “Greg has a chance of staying there. I thought he did all right last week.

“We didn’t lose the game because of our attack, we lost it because of our defence, ultimately.

"There’s something to work with there.”

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Warrington are without Gareth Widdop who suffered a dislocated shoulder last week.

Matt Davis, Greg Minikin, Danny Walker, Connor Wrench and Tom Whitehead are all in contention to replace him in the matchday 17.

Castleford Tigers: from Evalds, Olpherts, Mamo, Faraimo, Richardson, McShane, Lawler, Edwards, Milner, Westerman, Griffin, Fonua, Sutcliffe, Smith, Eden, Blair, Matagi, Martin, O’Brien, Qareqare, Mellor.

Warrington Wolves: from Ashton, Bullock, D Clark, J Clark, Currie, Davis, Dean, Harrison, Holmes, Mata’utia, Minikin, Mikaele, Mulhern, Nicholson, Ratchford, Thewlis, Walker, Wardle, Whitehead, Williams, Wrench.

Referee: Liam Moore (Wigan).

Kick-off: Saturday, 3pm.