Victory over his former club Hull FC in tomorrow night’s Betfred Super League game at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle would give Castleford Tigers a big boost in their bid to reach the play-offs, according to Jordan Rankin.
The Tigers half-back played his part in getting his team back on the winning trail against Huddersfield Giants and they are back at home again looking for a quickfire double over Yorkshire rivals who are one place ahead of them in the table.
“It’s massive,” said Rankin. “They are a team that you have to be wary of as they have so many individuals that if you let them get a roll on they will continue to do that to you for the full 80 minutes.
“They have players who can put you to the sword like Marc Sneyd and Albert Kelly. We just have to be wary of that on Thursday night.
“They are close to us on the table so to get the two points off them would be a massive step towards us securing a top five place for the end of the season.
“Every win from here to the end of the season will be pretty big for us.”
Rankin began his Super League career with Hull and enjoyed his time there.
He added: “It was an opportunity for me to come over from Australia and they welcomed me with open arms. It was a club I really enjoyed playing at.
“I bought into the culture, I bought into what the team was about and what the club was about and it’s somewhere I look back on with fond memories, the two years I was there.
“Lee Radford’s tough, but he’s fair as well. He just wants the best for his players and the club itself. He’s a Hull lad that played there and has done some special things for the club over the last few years.
“He’s passionate about the club, which is what you want in a head coach. He can only do so much through the week before they go out on the field and then the rest is on them for the weekend.
“I hear a lot saying he shouldn’t be there, the coach should be sacked and they need someone new but the guy’s taken them to two Challenge Cup finals and got two wins and he’s constantly taking them to top five places over the last couple of years so I don’t think it’s fair that he needs to have that sort of criticism.
“But that’s the fans and people talking from the heart when it comes to losing games so I can understand it from that point of view. But I think he’s done a pretty good job there with the playing group that he’s got.”