After a morale boosting win over Salford last week Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell now wants his players to show they can back it up.
The Tigers’ previous victory was followed by their worst display of the season, but Powell believes the fact the best two performances have come in the last two homes games should give the players confidence they can deliver when they take on Hull at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle tonight.
“Two out of the last three weeks we’ve been excellent and we’ve got to back that up now,” he told the Express.
“Hull will be tough, but we’ve got to believe that at home we’re a really difficult side to beat.
“Hull have been expansive in the games I’ve seen so they’ll challenge us everywhere. They’re a good side and have signed a lot of good players.
“Across the team they’ve got quality so we’ve got to play well, back our performance up individually and collectively from last week – and if we can do that we know we’re a dangerous team to play against.”
Powell is aware of the threat posed by Hull’s contingent of Castleford-born players and ex-Tigers, including last year’s half-back Marc Sneyd and in-form back-rower Jordan Thompson.
He said: “They’ve been renowned for signing players from Castleford. Obviously they’ve got Sneyd in there from last year and people like Watts, Westerman and Thompson. There’s plenty of connections there.
“Jordan Thompson is playing excellently for them this year, he looks quick and strong. We always knew he had that ability to break the defensive line and to make things happen with his speed and he’s done that really well at Hull.
“I think he’s having a big season so far and it’s up to us to nullify that and look after his threat.
“But if you look at their experience and ability across all positions you know it will be a tough game. Obviously we know about Marc Sneyd and they’ve also got Leon Pryce at half-back and Rankin’s playing well at the back. Back-rowers Minichiello and Ellis are good players, there’s Westerman and Houghton in the middle, they’re just a good side full of good players we know a fair bit about.
“But we’ve got to believe in ourselves. The way we’ve played in two of our last three games has got to give us a lot of confidence.”
Cas are expecting another big crowd and Powell reckons it is all set up to make for a terrific atmosphere.
He added: “Hull won last week, they are a well supported team and have pretty vibrant fans as well who make plenty of noise. But our fans have been special this year.
“I’d say they’ve been even better than last year because we’ve had a tough start.
“When we played away at Huddersfield they were constant in terms of the noise and support of the team so even in tough circumstances they’ve proved what they’re about and that’s excellent.”