THERE HAS been renewed “vigour and energy” about Castleford Tigers this week, assistant-coach Ryan Sheridan says.
Tigers have not played since their Magic Weekend defeat by St Helens on May 26 and the long build up to Friday’s visit of Huddersfield Giants has given the players a much-needed mid-season boost, according to Sheridan.
Injury-hit Castleford have lost eight of their last 12 Betfred Super League games, including a 20-18 setback at Huddersfield in April, but Sheridan reckons now is the time for them to start hitting their straps.
“They are playing really well,” Sheridan observed of Friday’s opponents. “They had a big win against Hull at the Magic Weekend and they were really unlucky in the Challenge Cup against St Helens.
“We know it’s going to be a tough challenge, but we are looking forward to it. We’ve had some good preparation, the boys had a few days off and they’ve come back in raring to go.
“Within that our leadership group have been outstanding in terms of driving standards and the players have renewed vigour and energy this week so hopefully we’ll see that in the performance on Friday.”
It is a massive challenge for us, but it is up to us now to start building on performance and learn our lessons from the last few performances where we’ve not quite been there.Castleford Tigers’ assistant Ryan Sheridan
Sheridan insisted Tigers have learned lessons from the loss at John Smith’s Stadium two months ago when they were well below-par.
“We’ve looked at some video and done a fair bit of homework on Huddersfield,” he said. “We’ve looked at areas where we played well against them and areas where we didn’t.
“They are a good side and they have got some players in there.
“They’ve got a big pack that challenge you and Lee Gaskell’s playing well and controlling them, [along with] the young half Oliver Russell and Darnell McIntosh at full-back.
“It is a massive challenge for us, but it is up to us now to start building on performance and learn our lessons from the last few performances where we’ve not quite been there.
“That’s for obvious reasons and for others that are not seen, but we’ve come in and rolled our sleeves up and we are looking forward to it.
“We are at home, we have got a few home fixtures now and it’s important everyone gets behind the team and shows their support.”