Castleford Tigers star Matt Cook: We’re looking forward to good challenge at Salford

Matt Cook in action for Castleford Tigers this season.
Matt Cook in action for Castleford Tigers this season.

Castleford Tigers forward Matt Cook is confident that lessons learned from last week’s defeat to Hull will be put to good use in another important game at Salford Red Devils tonight.

Prop Cook is gearing up for a tough test at the AJ Bell Stadium, but believes the Tigers will travel over there in confident mood despite the loss to Hull.

He told the Express: “It was frustrating last week (against Hull), especially after being in such a good position at half-time.

“I thought we had a really good first half and got ourselves in a great position to go on and finish the game with the two points.

“To end up losing it, we were all frustrated after the game because we knew the two points were there for the taking.

“We made a few crucial errors at the wrong time and it hurt us. There were two full length tries in the second half, that were killers and two crossfield kicks which we needed to shut down.

“We will learn a lot from it and we’ve been training hard all week and working on those weaknesses.

“We are looking good this week, we are all pretty confident.

“It is going to be a big game against Salford, they are playing pretty well themselves.

“There’s a lot of ball movement from them, their attack is sharp at the moment - they are one of the best attacking teams for me so we will be preparing for that and looking forward to a good challenge.”

Cook has been impressed by Salford’s play this year.

He said: “Their middles are getting some quick play the balls and we have got to find a way, legally, of slowing that down a bit and restricting their half-backs.

“Jackson Hastings and Robert Lui have been on fire. Hastings is not only orchestrating the play for them, but his metres have been massive.

“He is having a big say and influence on the game for Salford and we are going to have to try and find a way of keeping him quiet.

“They are both a threat, you maybe target one to try and keep him quiet and the other one might be fresh because you’ve not got at him enough. It is just finding that balance.

“We’ve got to complete high. We have spoken about making sure we build pressure, look after the ball and finish our sets well.

“Last week we gave Hull a few 20-metre restarts which can hurt you. We are focusing on making sure we end sets well and possession is key.”

Whoever wins will be guaranteed fifth place in the Betfred Super League and Cook admits it is a key game.

He said: “It’s big. Look at the table and you are only a couple of wins away from fourth or third, but a couple of losses and you are in the relegation battle.

”It is a tight old competition at the minute and any team can beat anyone on the day.

“We have got to be on every single week and hopefully we can go there and get the job done and hopefully kick on for the rest of the season.”

Castleford do not have the best of records at Salford, but Cook personally likes playing at the ground.

He added: “I enjoy playing at Salford, but it always seems to rain whenever we play there.

“It’ll be nice if the weather can stay dry.

“It’s a nice stadium, the pitch is good and for me it’s only round the corner as I live in Warrington.”