As Super League’s top-two seemingly tighten their grip on home semi-finals for the play-offs, Castleford coach Daryl Powell has insisted his side have no reason to fear the prospect of a trip to Wigan or St Helens.
With Wigan beating the Saints last week, it means there is still a three-point gap between the second-placed Warriors and Castleford. With just eight points left to play for, the prospect of a St Helens-Wigan one and two looks increasingly likely.
But even if his side are forced to travel to either of those teams in the play-offs, Powell believes Castleford have shown enough to justify their confidence for going across the Pennines and winning.
When asked if they had anything to fear, he said: “I don’t think so. It’d be tough, absolutely – because I watched Wigan play last week and they were very good.
“They’ve stepped up and I wanted to see what our standard would be, and it was as good as I’ve seen defensively for a long time. We were outstanding in that regard, and while we need to tweak a little with the ball, Wigan have had consistent half-backs all year.
“If we go there, it’ll be tough but we’re capable of winning there. And we go to St Helens the week before the play-offs anyway, and there’s a confidence about us – I don’t see any sort of reason why we fear anything or anyone.”
Victory at Hull on Friday night would guarantee a play-off spot once again for the Tigers – and Powell admits it would be a monumental achievement for everyone involved with the club.
“I think it’d be a big achievement,” Powell insisted.
“I look through the season, and the difficulties we’ve had, and we’ve been missing two international half-backs for the majority of the season. Hull have had their own injury problems but we’ve dealt with ours well and to be where we are now, is testament to everyone involved with the club. We’re in a good place at the moment.”