Pack battle will be key – Tigers coach

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TERRY Matterson is urging fans to turn out in force for Castleford’s first home Super League game this season .

The Tigers boss (pictured) is predicting a “cracking game” in which the pack battle will be the key to success when his side face Huddersfield Giants at Probiz Coliseum tomorrow evening (6pm kick-off).

Both teams are seeking back-to-back victories after winning their opening matches at Millennium Magic in Cardiff last weekend.

Matterson told the Express: “I’m urging all the fans to come down. We’re excited about our off-season and to get that first result against Wakefield in Cardiff was great, but we need that support.

“We’re playing a pretty good team this week and it will be a big test for us. Huddersfield have been strong for a few years and I enjoy watching them play.

“But we enjoy playing against them as well and we’ve had some really good games with them in the last few years.

“We’ve had some great battles that have gone down to the wire and we’re really looking forward to this game.

“There’s plenty to get excited about and it should be a cracking game.

“There’s no doubt it’s going to be a bigger test for us. We were expected to win against Wakefield and we probably made a little bit hard work of it at times, but I thought we were the better team and the scoreboard doesn’t lie.

“We’ve got to make sure we improve on that and perform well and if we do that we give ourselves a chance of beating Huddersfield.

“They’ve got danger men all over the park, but their hooker, Shaun Lunt, is a really good player. Their halves are very good players and they’ve got a big, big pack of forwards.

“We’re going to have to win the battle in the forwards. That’s the real key to make sure Lunt, Brough and Brown can’t play off the back of it.”

While admitting there was room for improvement on the display against Wakefield, Matterson was pleased to make a winning start to the 2011 season.

He said: “It was a bit of a mixed bag, but all in all it was a pleasing way to start the season. It was a derby win and we’re up and running.

“But we have some areas we need to work hard on, certainly some soft tries we let in.

“Our goal-line defence wasn’t great. I felt our defence everywhere else was really good and we looked really good in attack.

“I felt we bombed three dead set certain tries as well as the ones we scored, but a lot of our attack was good and we looked really sharp. We were patient as well, which is something we’ve been working on, not over-playing.

“I think we can improve and we still got the two points. If you look back to last year I think we probably played our best game in our first game so there was only one way to go. This time I think we can get better.”

Matterson was happy with the displays of a number of his players, including inexperienced youngsters Joe Arundel, Adam Milner, Oliver Holmes and Jonathan Walker, all playing for the first time at the Millennium Stadium.

He added: “All four of the youngsters who played against Wakefield did a really good job. But I think some of the senior guys made it a bit easier for them.

“I thought Rangi Chase was outstanding and Danny Orr was solid.

“Bringing Danny in is helping Rangi. His performance was real mature. He was not looking to run every play and some of his touches were really classy - it was a great way for him to start the season.

“It was a great try he created for Nick Youngquest. He has had some issues with throwing long balls at times, but it was really well executed for this try and we were down to 12 men at the time. To create an overlap like that when you have one man less is quite an achievement. That’s what Rangi can do when he carries the ball in two hands.

“I thought the front rowers, Huby, Jackson, Emmitt and Walker were good as well.

“Adam Milner got a lot of game time and it’s not a worry for him, he can play a full game. It wasn’t planned for him to play that long with Ryan Hudson going off, but it was not an issue, I knew he’d be able to handle it.

“Joe Arundel took his try well. There’s more to come from him. Defensively he was really strong and he’s doing the little things well. He doesn’t look out of place at all and he’s doing really well.

“Brett Ferres did us a job as the other centre. It’s not his best position and he will take time to get used to it, but at this point in time he is serving a purpose for us. He is big and strong and quite a handful when he carries it.

“I’m not sure if I’m going to play him there this week, but wherever Brett plays he’s going to be a threat.”