Castleford coach Daryl Powell believes opponents Leeds will be “rubbing their hands together” at the challenge of facing the Super League leaders at Headingley this evening.
The Tigers head across West Yorkshire looking to open up an eight-point gap over the Rhinos at the start of a crucial period for his side, which includes a game against Hull next weekend, too.
And after defeat against Hull last weekend and a shorter turnaround than the Rhinos, Powell believes Leeds will be chomping at the bit to take on the Tigers this evening.
He said: “I didn’t expect to be six points clear at this stage. We’ve given ourselves a great opportunity but that’s all it is; you have to be able to take them. This is a key game. We have two coming up now -Leeds and Hull – so it’s a key opportunity for us.
“I think Leeds will be rubbing their hands together – we’ve already said that as a group – but the greatest challenges bring about the biggest achievements. This is a great challenge for us and we should be excited by it. We’re excited by it and all the challenges across the whole of the season starting with Leeds game.”
Powell also said he’s not concerned with Leeds’ opinion of his side following a disappointing performance in Hull last weekend.
He said: “I don’t think it really matters, to be honest. They can think what they want really. It’s about what we do when we get onto the field. Are we going to be ready?
“There’s no doubt they’ll be highly motivated. We’ve beaten them twice this year, the second game they came after us heavily. They had their wingers coming round at our middle and I’d be pretty sure they’re do the same again and we have to be able to deal with it.
“We did do on that occasion eventually and we ended up being too good for them but it will be a really tough game. The Magic one was. We went in at half-time and the boys were struggling with the pace of it all. We know it will be tough but, for me, it’s about us and putting Leeds under pressure where we think we can get them. If we can do that then I’ll be confident.”