They may have beaten Leeds Rhinos on their last six meetings with them, but past form and results will count for nothing at Headingley tonight according to Castleford Tigers’ in-form forward Nathan Massey.
The Tigers are six points clear at the top of the table and a seventh successive win over Leeds Rhinos would be a giant step towards getting their hands on the Betfred Super League leaders’ shield.
But Massey is expecting tonight’s derby to be close.
He said: “We have beaten them twice this year so far, but their form has improved massively.
“They’ve won three on the bounce now and they had a good performance against Featherstone in the cup last weekend.
“They will be full of confidence after watching our game and I am sure they will be coming at us hard.
“We will be ready for a big game.”
Castleford saw their eight-match winning run ended at Hull last week so are keen to bounce back with Massey stressing the importance of how they respond.
He said: “It was disappointing for us, but credit to Hull.
“They have beaten us twice this year on their ground and they were too good for us in every department from the off.
“It is a good lesson we’ve got to learn and we will learn from that and kick on for the rest of the year.
“We need a reaction. We weren’t up to the standards we’ve set this year.
“It was really disappointing because it was a Cup game and we’re out of the Cup now.
“It was a big game for us, but we’ll be better for it
“We need to perform better in those types of big, one-off games.
“Fingers crossed, at the end of the year we will be winning those games.
“They are the ones we want to be winning and grinding out and we will come back stronger from it.”
Massey admitted Tigers need to start better tonight than they did at Hull.
He added: “We didn’t look after the ball. We made far too many errors and that killed us.
“Having to turn around and defend in that sort of heat killed us.”