Castleford Tigers full-back Luke Dorn has declared that the Tigers are aiming to reach the play-offs after their blistering start, and he has credited the club’s rise to a gruelling pre-season camp.
The Tigers lie third in the Super League table, with six wins from eight games after going down narrowly to leaders St Helens on Friday.
Dorn, who rejoined the Tigers at the start of the year after five seasons in London, said the Tigers have not set specific targets, but a top-eight finish is the bare minimum requirement at this stage.
“Everybody thinks we at least should be there,” he said.
“We’re not looking too far ahead. We’re pretty happy with where we’re at and we want to finish as high as we can.”
Castleford have surprised many with their impressive opening to the campaign after they finished 12th in 2013 and lost talismanic half-back Rangi Chase in the off-season.
“Everybody’s an armchair expert,” Dorn said.
“People had their opinions, but I thought we’d strengthened in a few key areas. It’s been nice to surprise some people.”
Dorn said Castleford put in a lot of hard work in during the pre-season, including experiencing a tough army camp, and the players bought into what coach Daryl Powell wanted, which is now paying off.
“We nailed it down early on in pre-season,” the 31-year old said.
“We did work really hard as a group. I felt like I had to earn the respect of the boys. The army camp really brought us together. They worked us hard and fair. They put us out of our comfort zone and it’s paying dividends.”
The Newcastle Knights junior said he is enjoying being back with the Tigers and winning games, after a tough few years in London.
“You start to doubt your own ability,” Dorn said.
“It’s given me my confidence back. I’m playing my best footy over here for quite a while. Everybody’s pulling their weight.”