Castleford TIGERS captain Michael Shenton is confident his side will be “galvanised” after their Challenge Cup final loss.
They host in-form Bradford Bulls tomorrow barely a week after suffering a 23-10 defeat against Leeds Rhinos at Wembley, the West Yorkshire club’s biggest day for more than 20 years.
They have no time to dwell on the disappointment of that, however, given they could still lift the League Leaders’ Shield.
To do that, victory over Bradford – relegated but seeking a fourth successive win – is paramount.
“We’ve had to take some positives out of that (Challenge Cup) game and move on pretty fast,” admitted Shenton.
“We’ve given ourselves a real good chance in the Super League so that’s our focus now.
“The cup is done and dusted. I just think we have to enjoy what we can from the experience and try and galvanise ourselves now. We can’t go the other way. We’ve got a top-four possibility and we’re right in the mix for that.
“But I don’t think it’ll be a problem (galvanising them). We’ve got such a great bunch of lads.”
Castleford host Bradford before welcoming a Wakefield Trinity side who have also picked up and then round off their regular campaign in Perpignan.
“On our run-in we’ve got some teams who have really turned their fortunes around,” added Shenton.
“People were looking at us saying we had a good run-in but it’s one of the toughest now.
“But we can learn lessons from what happened at Wembley as a team, as a club and the way we go about those type of experiences.
“It was a special week and I was so proud to have been a part of it to lead the boys out there.
“It was a great moment for me but I just want more of it now. The hunger to get more of that and do ourselves better justice is there.”
Castleford’s remarkable campaign started with an impressive 36-18 win at Bradford in February which promised much but few could have imagined this sort of success for a side that finished 12th last term.
Daryl Powell’s side were just two points adrift of leaders St Helens heading into this round, but they have had to make changes to the side edged out by the Rhinos.
Craig Huby (elbow) and Justin Carney (ankle) drop out so Michael Channing and James Clare come in to the 19-man squad and there’s a likely return for Garreth Carvell, the prop who controversially left Bradford for Hull FC in February without playing a single Super League game.