CASTLEFORD Tigers boss Terry Matterson has called on his players to show more pride in their performance in their do or die final regular season Super League match of 2011 at Hull KR on Saturday.
A 50-18 defeat to the other Hull side last Saturday left the Tigers needing to win at Craven Park if they are to make the play-offs, but the head coach is confident of victory if they can cut out the errors that have dogged the team since the Challenge Cup semi-final.
Matterson said: “The frustration of what’s happened since the semi-final all came to a head in the second half last weekend and hopefully it’s all out of our system now. It’s no use turning up on Saturday if we are going to give a similar performance to what we did in that last 40 minutes.
“We are better than that and we’ve shown to be better than that.
“I know the guys have got a lot more pride in their performance than they showed.
“It’s crystal clear, we have to go there and win and we are capable of doing that. We have to play well, we have to cut out the errors, we have to cut out the silly penalties and we have to make our one-on-one tackles. We need to do it for 80 minutes.
“We have beaten Hull KR already this season and I thought we were good for that win and could have won by a little bit more. It’s a long time ago and they are now riding high with a bit of confidence, but we are not fearful of going there.
“We went there last year and were very unlucky to lose with a late penalty goal after the bell so it holds no fears for us going to Hull KR.
“We’re going to go there full of confidence knowing that if we play to our potential we can win the game.
“We are going to be underdogs and they’re heavy favourites. With how we’ve gone in the last few weeks that’s justified and they’re playing at home and all that. But that doesn’t matter to us, we are aiming to give a good account of ourselves and if we do that we know we’ll get the points.
“It would be a shame after what we’ve done for a large part of the season if we didn’t make it.
“But you’ve got to go and earn it. We didn’t earn it last week, but we’re lucky we’ve got another opportunity to earn our position in the semi-finals and then anything can happen.”
Matterson is looking to make changes to last week’s team, with one enforced after Ryan McGoldrick was banned for two matches and fined £300 by the RFL’s disciplinary committee for striking Hull’s Sam Obst in the 63rd minute of last Saturday’s game.
Youngsters Daryl Clark, Jordan Thompson and John Davies, who all played in the under 20s last week, are all in the reckoning for a recall along with prop Rob Parker, but hooker Adam Milner will not be available after coming down with an infection that has caused him to miss the Hull FC game and all this week’s training. Experienced prop Paul Jackson is also likely to be ruled out with a back injury,
“We’ve got some niggles and we’ll have a look at a few people later in the week, but I’m hopeful everyone’s going to be okay after the Hull game,” said Matterson.
“We’ve lost Ryan McGoldrick, but we’ve been preparing for his likely absence and we have some other players who can play full-back. There’s a couple of people who want to prove a point there as well so they are going to get that opportunity. Adam Milner’s not going to be available. He can’t do contact for seven days so that basically rules him out of the game.
“I could be a little hamstrung because of Milner’s absence and McGoldrick’s suspension so that could hurt what we actually do. But I’d like to make some changes.”
Matterson identified several danger men in the Hull KR side his side will have to deal with if they are to achieve their aim.
He said: “Their two halves have been very good for them, they are the keys to what they do. They’ve got some powerful runners in Clint Newton and Benny Galea. I’ve been really impressed with a couple of their young guys, especially the young front rower Scott Taylor. He’s got a real rap on him.
“With their runners and Dobson and Green at half-back their left side, right side combinations are very dangerous and we are going to have to combat that.
“Michael Dobson’s a quality player and it’s important we don’t give him too much time. He likes time on the ball and it’s vital we shut him down.”
Castleford’s defence will have to improve against Rovers with the tackling a particular area of concern in the Hull FC match. There were a few positives to come out of that game, but they were far outweighed by the negatives.
Matterson said: “We are creating some things, but not making the most of them. Every time Hull created something they scored their points and that was the difference.
“We had a lot of good opportunities we didn’t take and Nick Youngquest could quite easily have come in with four or five tries. He was unmarked on a few occasions and we couldn’t get the ball to him, he dropped one, he stepped into touch and when Rangi went through I think he would have scored if he had found him.
“I was pleased with Martin Aspinwall. I thought he was really good, tough and strong. For the most part our pack held it with them and that’s the area where they had the strength I thought.
“But some of our efforts in the outside backs weren’t good enough. We’re not going to hide behind that, these guys are better than that and they need to be a whole lot better this week.
“Some of the tackling just wasn’t good enough and the guys have got to put their hands up and come up with these plays. They know how to tackle and it just wasn’t good enough.
“We’ve got it all to play for now and there’s no tomorrows after this week. It wasn’t do or die last week and that’s no excuse, but we can’t afford the same to happen again.
“We were well in it just before half-time and could quite easily have been in the lead, but we got shot to pieces in a four minute period just before half-time.
“It was really disappointing because for 36 minutes we were well in that game and at 22-6 although the game’s not gone it made it very difficult.
“We came out after half-time and got back into it at 22-12, but we just fell to pieces after the next try.
“To let a blow-out like that is just not good enough. We’ve addressed that as a team this week and we’ve got to concentrate on what happened in the first 36 minutes.”
Meanwhile, the winning ticket numbers in Castleford Supporters Club’s end of season raffle were 0326 (2012 season ticket) and 0534 (2012 replica shirt). Both prizes have been claimed.
Officials thanked everyone who bought and sold tickets.
From the raffle proceeds, a cheque for £1,000 was handed to Castleford Tigers. It was received on behalf of the club by skipper Danny Orr and Dean Widders.