Castleford forward Oliver Holmes believes victory tonight against Super League leaders would send a handy statement out to the rest of the competition about their title credentials.
In stark contrast to last year, the Tigers have dipped under the radar somewhat – but with two games in hand, victory against the Saints on Thursday night would move them back into Super League’s top four.
And Holmes believes the Tigers not only possess confidence aplenty following a dominant performance against Leeds last weekend, but the belief that if they do win, it will send a firm message out to their rivals.
“If we can get a win I think it will be a real statement to the rest of the league,” he said.
“We’ve gone quietly about things this year. Saints have been the talk, Wigan have come good at the minute but if we can knock this game off, people will stand up and take notice again.
“It’s not too often it comes around when you play teams this close together. It’s going to be interesting.”
He continued: “We were pretty much excellent for 80 minutes which is what we’ve been aiming for – an 80-minute performance.
“We’ll take confidence from that Leeds win hopefully into Thursday, which will be a good challenge for us.”
Holmes is also aware of what victory would do for their play-off prospects and the hunt to chase down the leading trio of St Helens, Wigan and Warrington – as they prepare for a hectic run of fixtures in the coming weeks.
“It is key for us to pick up the two points to keep in touch with them and that will give us a bit more breathing space from fifth as well,” he said.
“We’ve also a game in hand coming up next week (against Hull KR) so if we can win these next two games it puts us in a real good spot.”