Longest serving current Castleford Tigers star Craig Huby says he needs no motivation for tonight’s massive derby against Leeds Rhinos.
For Cas lad Huby the Leeds game is the biggest of the derbies and he is relishing the prospect of this year’s first meeting between the sides having extra significance with the Rhinos top of the table and the Tigers in third.
He said: “Myself being a local lad the Cas-Leeds local derby is one of the games I want to be playing in and it’s one when you look at the calendar at the start of the season and see when you are playing them.
“I’d say it’s bigger than the Wakefield game. I think there’s a bit more passion with the fans.
“It’s bigger this year. I don’t think anybody expected us to be up where we are, but we are just working hard for each other and enjoying playing rugby.
“I knew we’d be good, but not too sure how good. We knew in pre-season how well we were training.
“We knew we’d be up there, but maybe not to this extent. But it’s a good feeling to be up there.
“It’s a lot different to last year when it was sort of up in the air.
“Leeds are looking good, but they always are. They don’t change much around in the off-season. But if we have the right attitude hopefully we can pick them off.”
Huby is looking forward to locking horns with old rival Jamie Peacock and pleased to be going into the match-up in his best form for two years.
He said: “Jamie Peacock just keeps getting better and better. To be his age and playing 70, 80 minutes a game and doing the amount of work he’s doing is unbelievable.
“He’s the one for them who gets them going so hopefully if we can pull him back a little bit we can have a good chance.
“He’s probably been one of the best, if not the best front rower. Just his work rate, attitude, everything about him, he’s incredible.
“I would hope if I could do a quarter of what he’s done it would be a nice feeling. I’m enjoying my rugby and it’s to do with Daryl Powell and the way he wants us to play and the people around. We’ve got Lynchy who’s come back and Millo as well and I think we’re working well as a three when we’re on the field.
“The first six months when I came back from the injury it was just about getting game time and growing in confidence, getting all the negative stuff out of my head about my leg. Probably towards the back end of last year I started playing well then had a full pre-season that’s helped me play like I was before.”
Cas have to face up to another short turnaround, but Huby is unfazed by the challenge set for them by the RFL.
He added: “It’s pretty tough to be backing up, but we’re getting used to it and come Thursday night all the boys will be ready to play.
“In a way it’s probably good. After losing at the weekend it gives us a short turnaround to get focused again and to get back to winning ways hopefully.
“We just get told when we’re going to play and it’s our job to turn up and play and we’re happy to do so.
“We’ve got a deep squad this year with a few of the boys being rested so it’s not too bad. If you are short of players it’d probably going to test you.”