‘Our feet are planted firmly on the ground’ – Matterson

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CASTLEFORD Tigers boss Terry Matterson insists his side will not get carried away by being top of the table after three games.

The Tigers have made their best-ever start to a Super League campaign and have already beaten two sides expected to reach the play-offs, but it is business as usual when it comes to preparing for the fourth game, at home to Catalan Dragons on Saturday (5.45pm).

Matterson (pictured) admits his side will start favourites for another win, but he is expecting a big test for his table toppers from the French visitors.

He said: “I’m looking forward to the game. I watched Catalan against St Helens and I thought they were unlucky. They have improved a lot and it looks a real challenge for us. They’re a big, physical side and I think we are going to see the best of Catalan in the next few weeks – hopefully not this week.

“I’m expecting another really tough match so there’s no thoughts of complacency. Our feet are planted firmly on the ground and what happened in the first half last week will make sure they continue to be.

“They’ve got some new people since last season. Scotty Dureau has arrived from Australia and he’s a real playmaker and their hooker, Ian Henderson, is a real competitor.

“But we really need to stop their forward pack. They’ve some big guys like Jamal Fakir, David Ferriol, Remi Casty and Lopini Paea. Our forwards did well last week and they are working as a unit. There’s some pressure on there for positions in the team and that is bringing the best out of them.”

Matterson is relishing the chance for his players to impress in front of the TV cameras again and reckons there is more to come from the team.

He said: “People are probably just waiting for us to fail, but we’ve got to make sure we get our game right.

“We’re probably going to be favourites so it’s another thing we’ve got to contend with. It’s good to be on TV and it’s a chance to show people what we can do, but the main thing is for us to get the result.

“We want to perform well, but we need to find a way to win this game whether it’s ugly or playing up the middle or, if conditions allow, to move the ball a little bit. But if we do the little things well we will give ourselves a chance of winning.

“We‘ve only had three wins so there’s no reason to get carried away, we’ve got to carry on doing what we’ve been doing.

“I’m not excited too much to be top of the table after just three games – the fact we’ve won three is the most important thing and we think we’ve got some improvement in us as well.”

Matterson stuck to a winning team for the Hull KR game, leaving out several experienced first teamers, but he may be forced into at least one change if Jonathan Walker does not recover from the knee injury he picked up last Sunday.

He added: “We’re having a look at Jonny Walker later in the week and we’ll wait and see if he’s available when we have more information.

“We may make changes, certainly Nick Fozzard is raring to go and with hindsight leaving him out last week has been a blessing. We’ve had another week training with him just to make sure and he’ll be 100 per cent for Saturday’s match.

“He’s someone I’ve got to think about and Steve Snitch has gone really well in training. We’ve got Ryan Hudson as well and there’s some interesting selections.

“Willie Isa played well in the under 20s so he is making things difficult for me, which is good. He got a hat-trick and although it was against a fairly depleted Hull KR side you can only play what’s up against you and Willie did everything that was asked of him.”