Salford Red Devils coach Richard Marshall reckons playing Castleford twice in eight days is a “double-edged sword”.
Like Wigan and Hull, the Red Devils and the Tigers will follow up a Super League meeting, which the Tigers won 28-18, by squaring up to each other in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup at Emerald Headingley on Friday.
“Of course it’s a different competition and a different game,” said Marshall, whose predecessor Ian Watson took Salford to last season’s final, where they were edged out 17-16 by Leeds at Wembley.
“There will be some pointers that we can take from the league game which might be useful to us, but you could say the same for Castleford, so it’s a doubled-edged sword.”
Former Halifax coach Marshall, appointed in December after 18 months as assistant coach at St Helens, reckons Castleford provides a great blueprint for the way he wants to develop the Red Devils.
“It’s not necessarily their style of play, but the way they have their philosophy and keep faith with it,” he explained.
“We want to build our own style the way that Castleford have, and I don’t think we’ve really found ourselves yet.
“We’d had some injuries, and we’ve also made some changes because we are working our way through areas of the side in terms of options.
“Going forward, I’d like to get more consistency in terms of team selection and hopefully on the back of that, performance.
“We’ve produced some good spells of rugby, but we need to stretch those out and eradicate some little lapses, like having no one ready at dummy-half at a play-the-ball.”
Salford, who rested Kiwi back Krisnan Inu on Friday, have a major doubt over centre Matty Costello (shoulder) but are optimistic that New Zealand international forward Elijah Taylor (shoulder) and fullback Dan Sarginson (rib) could be fit.
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.