Tigers have beaten their neighbours three times already this season – now they want a quadruple
DARYL Powell is ready to land a psychological blow on Leeds’ title chances while keeping Castleford mentally tuned in to their goal.
Having already wrapped up the League Leaders’ Shield, it would be understandable if the Tigers clocked off and took it easy before Super League’s semi-finals.
But coach Powell is having none of it, he wants players fighting for a place in his last four plans to lay down a marker.
And he knows that beating the Rhinos for a fourth time this season, after winning the previous three meetings with an aggregate score of 118-40, can have an effect.
He said: “We don’t need the points but we want them. The consistency in what we do and the momentum heading towards the semi-finals are all important additions to our game.
“There’s probably three spots in the team to be had for the end of the season too. That’s something I think is driving our players and so it should.
“We look like we’re in a good place we’ve got to stay there and build and get better. There’s a fair bit of improvement in us.
“I don’t think it’ll mean anything but I think from a mental perspective it could be a real tough one for Leeds if that had happened.
“You never know, in a one-off game, anything can happen. We want to win the game, it’s the same against Wigan away from home – we could meet them in the semi.
“Positions three and four are up for grabs. Hull, when we play them down here, could be outside the four at that time, who knows the way it’s going at the moment.
“It’s interesting, intriguing and we want to win this game absolutely and we want to keep building our confidence and momentum and obviously against Leeds beating them for the fourth time this year, that dents your confidence.
“If they were to come up against us in a Grand Final then mentally who knows.”
Leeds will seal a home semi-final with a derby win tonight and the feeling they can reach Old Trafford is growing.
However, Powell believes Castleford’s win at Huddersfield sent a message out to their rivals.
He added: “I knew that mentally that would be our toughest game, after winning the League Leaders’ Shield then having the week off for the Challenge Cup final.
“And Huddersfield have got some of the most physical players in the league. It was a big win in terms of our mentality moving forward.”
GOING FOUR IT
Wigan skipper Sean O’Loughlin insists the Super League champions can still defend their title
NO STORM-Y OUTLOOK
Hull star Josh Griffin reveals why he did not move to Australian side Melbourne Storm
CARN YOU STAY, PLEASE
Salford fight to keep Todd Carney in Super League by opening talks over a new contract
Hull KR ace Chris Atkin reveals gruelling journeys as he aims for Super League – often leaving home at 5.15am!
A DIFFERENT LEAGUE
Who is Rob Parker, the former rugby league player turned actor alongside Tom Hardy in BBC One’s Taboo?
Super League games set to kick off at 7.45pm rather than 8pm after concerns about matches dragging on