COACH LINDSAY Anfield hopes a relaxed approach to tonight’s Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final will pay off for Castleford Tigers.
Anfield is not downplaying the importance of the title decider, at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium, but insisted she wants her side to enjoy the build-up and occasion.
Castleford won 13 of their 14 league games and have been beaten only twice in all competitions this year, but the first of those losses was to Leeds in the Coral Challenge Cup final three months ago, when Tigers under-performed on the big day.
Though Tigers already have the league leaders’ prize in their trophy cabinet, this is the game their 2019 campaign will be remembered for.
“That’s how big it is,” Anfield admitted.
“We have put a lot of work in, but this is the big one.”
However, Anfield revealed the coaching staff have taken a different approach, having learned lessons from the 16-10 defeat in July – their second successive Challenge Cup final loss to Rhinos.
She stressed: “We put a lot of detail into making sure preparation was 100 per cent [for the Challenge Cup].
“We were probably a bit over-tactical; this time it’s about having fun – it’s just another game. We are not putting too much pressure on them, especially against Leeds.
“We have beaten them twice in the league, but when we’ve come up against them in knockout games they’ve handled it better, especially their game management.
“Hopefully, we know what to do this time.”
Tigers’ only league defeat came in the final round, away to St Helens two weeks ago.
They bounced back with an impressive semi-final win against Wigan Warriors and Anfield, who is selecting from full-strength, is happy with her side’s form.
Tigers endured a difficult journey to Saints last time and the game was played in poor conditions, but Anfield stressed: “No excuses – we didn’t turn up and play. That was a surprise for us because I thought they were going to be up for being unbeaten, but they played really well against Wigan, performed more to what was asked and hopefully we’ll do the same [tonight].”