Castleford Tigers centre Ben Crooks admits the club have set themselves an ambitious goal of winning each and every one of their seven Super 8s games – even if the top four proves to be beyond them in 2016.
The Tigers have made a fine start to life after the split, beating both Hull and Wigan in the opening two weeks of the Super 8s – aiming to make it a hat-trick of major scalps on Saturday afternoon when they face Warrington.
And Crooks insists that winning every match is not beyond them in 2016, but says they are not getting carried away by their sensational form just yet.
“Yes. It’s a goal we set for ourselves,” he said.
“We know to be in even with a slight chance we have to beat everybody and we’re just taking it each week at a time. To get top three teams in first three weeks we knew it’d be a hard task and we’d really have to go out and put a couple of displays in.
“But the benefit for us is no one really thought we could get in the top four so it has taken pressure off us and we’re just going out there and enjoying playing.”
With the game the week before Wembley there is talk the Wolves may have one eye on the Challenge Cup final against Crooks’ former side Hull – but the centre is not having any of that.
“A lot of people will be saying they’ll be looking at Wembley for the week after but they’re a quality side and have been all year.
“They are not that sort of team to take their foot off the gas.
“They’re still aiming for that top two finish and League Leaders’ Shield and that’s something they’re really going to be looking to go after so by no means will it be a walk in the park. It will be more like the week before against Wigan.”
And Crooks admits that after a frustrating spell in Australia with Parramatta, he’s satisfied with how his debut season at Cas has gone after missing only a handful of games all year due to injury.
He said: “It’s great for me here. Probably one of the only positive sides of injuries is you get that extra chance to prove yourself the week after if you’ve had a bad game yourself.
“It’s been great for me that I’ve managed to get in as many games as I have and that was one thing I was focusing on at the start – to play every game.
“Luckily for me, I’ve only missed three through injury, just looking at going out on this season on a high now.”