The character missing from some of Castleford Tigers’ performances this year is back, forward Mike McMeeken says.
Tigers had to dig deep last week to pull off a 27-26 win over Huddersfield Giants and McMeeken said they are ready for more of the same when Hull visit the Jungle on Thursday.
It was 26-26 at the end of normal time five days ago, but Peter Mata’utia snatched the win for Tigers with a golden-point drop goal.
“It was a really tough game and we showed a lot of character which has been missing the last few weeks,” McMeeken said. “I thought the boys dug in well.”
Last week’s game was the longest in Super League’s history, Mata’utia’s winner coming in the 88th minute.
Thursday’s fifth versus fourth clash could be just as close and McMeeken insisted Tigers have learned some lessons about how to cope when games go into sudden-death.
“We were confident,” he added of last week.
“We were carrying the ball well, but when it came to the drop goal we just weren’t striking it well enough.
“Pete at the end, showed some real good nerve and he slotted it well.”
It was only Tigers’ fifth win from their last 13 Super League fixtures and McMeeken insisted they will take fresh confidence into tomorrow’s crucial game.
“It was just important to get the win,” he said.
“I thought we played really well, attacking-wise anyway.
“We had some really good carries, but we let ourselves down a bit with too many penalties and knock-ons and we gave away some cheap points.
“But it was massive for us to come out with the two points.”
Thursday will be Tigers’ third meeting of the season with Hull.
They won the away fixture 26-18 in February and were beaten 28-12 at KCOM Stadium last month in the Coral Challenge Cup.
McMeeken reckons home advantage could make the difference this time.
“We tend to play well at home,” he said.
“The crowd are class for us and they help us get over the line.
“It is another tough game, but it’s one we are looking forward to.”