Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has said that there would have been only one game more dangerous for his side on the opening weekend of the season than facing Leigh at home – and that would have been a trip to the Centurions.
The Tigers start a season in which many have tipped them for glory this weekend against the newly-promoted Centurions, who Powell admits will be a tough test for his side on Friday night in front of the Sky cameras.
He said: “They’re a dangerous team, Leigh.
“They beat everyone but Leigh in the Qualifiers last year, and newly-promoted teams are notoriously tough to play against.
“I said last week that the only game more dangerous than this one to start with is Leigh away – I really didn’t want that first night up against their home fans who will all be buzzing.”
However, Powell insists his side are ready and raring to go for the start of the new Super League campaign – warning that if they are on their game in 2017, they will take some beating.
“Everyone has worked hard and played well; the first half against Wakefield and the full match against St Helens were our marker games and it’s shown me that we’re ready to go. You can sense that we’re ready; you watch the players and see where they’re at and you can see that they’re prepared to bust a gut for this team.
“I think the team picks itself at the moment. We’ve got some injuries with Oliver (Holmes) and Larne (Patrick) which will need a while to be right but if we’re on, we’re going to take a little bit of beating this year I think.”
Powell’s only two injury concerns are Holmes and Patrick – although they will make a late call on Adam Milner even though he is included in their 19-man squad – and he declared his squad are in a “good place”.
He said: “We’re in a good place and at the moment, I don’t really feel like I need to do too much coaching – they’re ready.
“You put everything out there and tweak things as you go but at the moment, the boys just know what they’re doing. They can deal with different situations and we’ll see how they face up to them, but since we got back from Lanzarote and beat St Helens I’ve felt that we’re ready to go.”