Experienced Castleford Tigers winger Joel Monaghan expects nothing less than Wigan Warriors at their best this evening – despite a record 62-0 loss at Wakefield Trinity.
Sunday’s shock defeat is still sending shockwaves around the competition and, with Wigan again missing key individuals, Castleford will look to compound their misery at DW Stadium.
Inevitably, there could be a backlash from the wounded hosts but Monaghan, who faced them numerous times during his five years with rivals Warrington Wolves, feels that is immaterial.
“People have been hearing about it all week, about how that game ended up,” said the veteran Australian.
“But when you go to Wigan on a Friday night at their ground, it doesn’t matter what happened the week before – you’re going to be in for a tough game.
“We didn’t start in the best manner at Widnes last week either so we’ve got a fair bit to improve on. You’re not going to see a Wigan side as bad as that two weeks in a row, so it’s got the makings of a great game.”
Castleford recovered from 18-0 down to win 34-24 at Widnes, which now leaves them seeking a fourth win from five fixtures.
Their current run has come despite a raft of injuries themselves, illustrating the depth and quality of their squad.
Monaghan, who turns 34 in a week, admitted: “There’s so much more to come from this group this year yet, believe me.
“We’ve battled to three wins from four in my opinion and there’s a lot of teams with injury troubles, so let’s wait and see what happens when we get everyone back on board from the treatment room and everyone firing.
“I feel there are some good times coming for this club and it’s only going to make the boys tougher, the way we’ve battled to get some wins.”
The former Kangaroo is keen to show his best, too, having missed three games due to injury since joining from Warrington over the winter. He said: “I’ve had two little stints out with my back, but hopefully that’s all sorted now.”
Meanwhile, fellow winger Jy Hitchcox, 26, has agreed a new two-year deal.
The Australian has scored five tries since joining from Featherstone Rovers in December.