Castleford captain Michael Shenton believes tonight’s trip to Super League champions Wigan will be the sternest test of their championship credentials thus far.
The Tigers have won six of their first seven games and sit top of the league ahead of Leeds on points difference – as well as three ahead of the Warriors.
And Shenton, whose form has been key in Castleford’s surge to the top of the competition, admits it will be a tough task tonight.
When asked if Wigan will be their greatest challenge so far, he said: “I really think so. Salford was tough in the conditions, but this coming against a quality, well-drilled team that’s got a superb culture – we know it’s a really tough place to go and they are one of the teams that’s been able to defend us really well in the past.
“We can’t go looking for too much because they will defend us, they will defend us well at times. We’ve got to be able to build a game, build a bit of pressure.
“We know that, it’s about putting it on the paddock.”
Shenton also admitted that for the players at least, they don’t take any notice of the supposed rivalry between the two sides ahead of the trip to the DW Stadium.
“They are normally quite tasty games,” he said. “It probably comes from 2014, maybe, but it’s not something we focus on. It’s more in the media and the fans.
“We love to beat them because they are the champion team and it puts a bit of a statement out there if you do that, but we can’t focus on that kind of stuff.
“We focus on what they’re going to bring as a team and how they are going to look to break us down and how can we break them down.
“It is going to be a real challenge and our biggest challenge so far.
“We have massive respect for that Wigan team. They are the champions with some quality players and they are playing some really good rugby this year.
“We know they are a massive that so to get the job done is going to make a statement, but for us it is just in-house focusing on what we are going to do.”