Long serving Super League star Andy Lynch is delighted with the way Castleford Tigers are proving many commentators wrong so far this season.
Lynch, who has this week been awarded a testimonial, is not surprised that Cas have won seven out of their first eight games, but few people marked the side down as top eight contenders before the season started, never mind be challenging for top spot.
“I think a lot of people wrote us off early on, but we’ve had confidence in ourselves since day one,” said Lynch.
“I think in Cas we’ve got no superstars, we are just a close knit, hard working team and if we all performing together on the field it just shows results will come.
“When we don’t do it, like in the Salford game when we gave away penalties and didn’t stick to our structures that’s when the losses come.
“It’s an opportunity to prove ourselves again on Friday. When we played Wigan that was a stepping stone for us and we came through that.
“Saints are seven from seven and we’re six from seven so it’s going to be a massive game to see whereabouts we are at.
“Saints have quality from one to 17. Whatever team they put out it’s going to be a tough task for us, but one that we are looking forward to. It’s a match we can definitely win.”
Lynch is pleased with his own form and the early season success is backing up his decision to “come home”.
He said: “It’s great to be back at Cas and it feels like I’m 19 again when I first started.
“There’s been a few little changes about the place and licks or paint here and there, but the atmosphere’s still great, the fans are still great and with Danny and Daryl the way they are coaching it’s looking really good. Ben Cooper, the conditioner, has got us really going as well.
“We’ve got a squad now that can challenge week in, week out. If you don’t perform that week there’s players waiting there that will come in and do the job.
“Everyone’s got to be on their toes, not just in games, in training as well where there’s competition. It makes training more intense and better quality.
“We don’t look too far and just take it little blocks at a time. Saints is the next object in our way and it’s what we’ve got to look at this week. It’s what we’re striving hard to get a result for.
“It’s great that we have a chance to go top against Saints. Early on who’s have thought Cas would be six from seven.
“It’s something we’re looking forward to and it’s definitely an achievable goal.”
Lynch has formed part of a formidable Tigers pack this season and paid tribute to his fellow prop, Craig Huby, who has been in top form.
He added: “Craig Huby is in great form. I think a couple of years ago before he had a bad knee injury he was going well, but his form this year is great.
“That’s probably a big reason why we’re going so well with “Chubbs” leading us from the front really.”
Lynch is set to be busy off the field organising events in his testimonial, which has been granted by the RFL.
The first events will be an opening dinner at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on May 30 followed by a hog roast night with a band playing at Kippax Welfare the following week and a kids race night at Kippax again. A testimonial game is also being planned with Lynch’s former club, Hull, being lined up as opponents next January.