ASSISTANT coach Danny Orr says Castleford Tigers must “do a Hull” if they are to defy the odds and reach Super League’s top-four.
After Saturday’s bitterly disappointing 26-12 Ladbroke’s Challenge Cup quarter-final loss at Wigan Warriors, all their attention now turns to the league campaign.
But they visit Salford Red Devils tomorrow night in seventh - still nine points behind Catalans Dragons in fourth.
There are just four fixtures remaining in the regular campaign and then seven extra games in the Super 8s to make up ground.
“It’s going to be tough for teams to climb up into that top-four - there’s been a bit of a breakaway,” conceded Orr.
“But you’ve got to do something like Hull have done.
“They’ve gone a great run and won 10 straight.
“We’ve got 11 games left and I still believe that on our day, and if we are consistent, we can beat anybody.
“We’ve just got to nail a couple of performances, get on some kind of winning run and if we do that who knows where it can take you.
“Friday is huge. We’ve got four games left, four big games for us, starting against Salford and have to get back on winning ways.”
Castleford are without prolific winger Denny Solomona, though, the competition’s leading scorer with 24 tries, due to an injury picked up at Wigan and forward Lee Jewitt is also omitted from the 19-man squad.
Jake Webster is named as he hopes to return after pulling out in the warm-up last week and Paddy Flynn, the on-loan Widnes Vikings winger who was cup-tied at Wigan, is recalled with Tom Holmes.
Salford are 10th – six points off the top-eight pace – but they are awaiting their appeal against a six point deduction for salary cap breaches.
“They could get their points back and it’d make it close again for the top eight,” added Orr.
“But we haven’t spoken about that. We are looking ahead and believe we are a team who should be at the top end of the table.
“It was disappointing on Saturday. To go to Wigan, especially in a quarter-final, and to be 22-0 down at half-time is pretty much game over.
“We weren’t good enough. They went 100 per cent completion in the first half, didn’t make any errors and gave us nothing to play off. The times when we did get good field positions they defended really well, scrambled really well and Sam Tomkins pulled off two try-saving tackles.”
Castleford have now lost three successive games with their defence, in particular, proving problematic.
Orr said: “This team loves to attack at the moment and, to be fair, Cas have always been known for that, playing nice rugby, which is great. But there’s two sides to the game.
“At times this year we’ve been fantastic defensively and other times pretty poor.
“It’s about getting that balance, getting the attitude right of the players and enjoying defending, not just looking and waiting for the ball to come to you so you can score.
“If we defend well we know our attack will be even better on the back of that.
“It’s about turning up with the right attitude, wanting and enjoying defending because it’s a huge part of the game.”