Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell admits there is a huge incentive for his players to be at their best in tonight’s Betfred Super 8s game against Wakefield Trinity at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Put simply, one more victory and the 2017 Tigers team will write their own chapter in the famous club’s history as never before has a Castleford team finished top in Rugby League’s elite competition.
That they can achieve this feat while their oldest rivals are in opposition has added a delicious twist to the tale and makes sure the old Wheldon Road ground will be seriously rocking.
Head coach Powell is expecting a great atmosphere and a great game.
He told the Express: “There’s a massive incentive for us to play well.
“We haven’t needed much incentive this year, it’s been about our performance levels and a real pride about the way we’ve played. But the prize in front of us in significant. There’s a part of history to be made and it would be awesome to do it on Thursday evening.
“It’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere, I think it will be electric.
“Obviously a local derby anyway and then to add this in the mix, them punching for top four and us striving to win the League Leaders on our own ground. It promises to be a pretty exciting evening.”
Powell said: “We’re hoping it will be a memorable night for the fans. They have been great all year and it will be a great crowd, no question about that.We’re both in the top four so there should be a real buzz about the place.
“I’m really looking forward to it and I think all the players are.
“We should have a really strong team out there, we’ve got some players coming back, and it will be a real chance to do something special.
“It was a big win for us last week and we’ve got a 10-point cushion. It’s a great opportunity for us on Thursday night.”
Powell has warned his players that they will face a fully motivated Wakefield team, revitalised in their bid for a play-off place by their win over Leeds Rhinos last week.
He added: “Wakefield will be trying hard to beat us.
“We played them recently and they were all over us for the first half. We struggled to get a grip on the game so we know they’ll challenge us.
“They’ll come into it with confidence. They were really good last week against Leeds and have some good players.
“Liam Finn’s been a bedrock for them and they’ve got some smart players across the field.
“That win against Leeds has given them a leap into the top four.
“The thing with the Super 8s this year is that with everybody playing everybody in the top half of the table there’s a real battle on for positions. Leeds losing last week has pulled everybody together and it’s really tight. It’s the most interesting Super 8s we’ve had so far.”