Motivated Castleford are up for the cup

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell. Picture: Matthew Merrick
Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell. Picture: Matthew Merrick

Castleford Tigers players will be highly motivated for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie against St Helens at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, according to head coach Daryl Powell.

After losing a close game away to Saints in the Betfred Super League last month revenge is in the minds of the Tigers now they are back on home soil where they have won all six of their matches so far in 2017.

Powell has challenged his forwards to take the game to the visitors after admitting they were outplayed in this department in the previous meeting this year and he believes this can be the key to getting a rare Cas win over their hoodoo team.

He told the Express: “It’s the toughest tie of the round and obviously very difficult, but we’re at home, we’ve been really confident here and played well. We just need to be on our standards.

“St Helens beat us over at their place and gave us a bit of a lesson in a couple of areas of the game that we didn’t handle well. So we’ll put that in our back pocket and the motivation will be pretty strong I think.

“Motivation ebbs and flows throughout the season and I think we have a huge motivation after we went over there and lost a tight game.

“They did some things to our forward pack and our forwards need to really step up and make a point and get after St Helens.

“We need to be on this week, it’s a big game for us. St Helens won the forward battle last time and we need to reverse it this time that’s for certain.

“St Helens are desperate to win. Their form has been a bit up and down and they lost last week to Warrington so they’ll be pretty desperate and that makes for what should be an outstanding game of rugby league.”

Powell is not concerned about the Tigers’ poor record against St Helens, which has seen them lose their last five matches against them and lose 39 of their last 45 meetings.

He said: “They are a tough side to play against and obviously the record when we’re away from home is massively in their favour. At home it’s slightly different, but still we’ve found them difficult to beat.

“But this is a different season, it’s a different team, they’re a different team. We’ve got to come up with our best game.

“When they are firing they are really difficult to play against, but it’s just about us and being on the money, not worrying about what’s gone before, apart from that last game this season.

“It’s important that we square the ledger up and get after them, play well and hopefully deliver a performance that gets a result.”

Powell is looking for his team to bring their league form into the cup as he wants to experience another Wembley trip.

He added: “It’s one of the three things you can win. I was fortunate to win it at Leeds and it’s a big competition with a massive history at Castleford.

“Our fans love the competition. We went to Wembley in 2014 and we’d like to take the final step and win it.

“We’re here to win things. We’ve shown we’re a good side this year so the Challenge Cup is huge for us.”