HULL KR coach Craig Sandercock has warned his side to give Castleford absolutely no encouragement tomorrow.
Their opponents arrive from West Yorkshire under-strength and without any first choice half-backs. However, given ill-disciplined Rovers were 26-0 down inside almost as many minutes during their last Super League game at Wigan, Sandercock is all too aware of how matches can be over almost as soon as they have begun.
He realises any similar lethargy will invite Castleford into the contest tomorrow and is therefore keen to see his men stamp their authority from the off.
“Two areas that really let us down early on in that game were our defence and discipline,” said the Australian, as ninth-placed Rovers attempt to kick-start their bid for a play-off spot.
“We gave away five penalties in that first 20 minutes and didn’t receive any. We’ve worked really hard on our discipline to try and put that right.
“Making the correct reads in defence is obviously very important as well. I was encouraged by our performance in that last hour at Wigan (finished 36-22) and we showed we’re a good footy side.
“But, we’ve got to do it for 80 minutes against Castleford and it’s going to be a tough game.”
Without England stand-off Rangi Chase and captain Danny Orr, or the creative talent of Ryan McGoldrick, Castleford could be seen as devoid of attacking threat when they head to Craven Park.
But Sandercock insisted: “Castleford beat us at their place earlier in the year and their forwards were particularly good that night. Looking down their squad, they’ve got a very big pack and we’ve got to be ready to take them on on Sunday.
“Young Daryl Clark is an exceptional player and one for the future and we certainly need to keep an eye on him.
“The last time we played them it was their forwards that dominated ours and we need to aim up that way otherwise we’ll get the same result.”
Currently in talks with St Helens’ Michael Shenton about a move to Craven Park in 2013, frustrated Sandercock has seen current centre Jake Webster again pull up short in his bid for fitness.
Webster has not played since March due to a double hernia and is still suffering from soreness. Promising youngster Liam Salter gets another opportunity.