HUMILIATED Castleford Tigers star Brett Ferres believes a players’ clear-the-air meeting could be the catalyst for a much-needed return to form.
The shamed squad took it upon themselves to hold the crucial talk and then issue a statement to apologise to fans for Sunday’s dire 70-12 loss at Hull KR on Sunday – their biggest Super League defeat.
Tigers. who are now six points behind the play-offs pace, will look to atone immediately against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Saturday’s opening Magic Weekend fixture.
Yesterday, at Manchester City’s hosting Etihad Stadium, Ferres said: “Embarrassing was the word.
“We were massively disappointed (after Rovers) and came together to roughly iron out a few issues.
“Everyone has been honest, which has been good, and everyone has spoken which makes a change from just the senior guys talking. Younger guys have stood up and said their piece too and it’s been really interesting.
“We’ve got a lot out of it as a squad and it was probably just what we needed.”
Facing their fierce derby rivals Wakefield, who sit just below them in the table, is possibly just the sort of challenge Castleford require to kick-start their faltering campaign.
With key duo Rangi Chase and Danny Orr returning, England international Ferres insists they can still reach the play-offs.
“It’s a tough ask but we need to be winning these sorts of games,” said the 26 year-old.
“Teams in and around us need to be beaten and obviously we need to nick a few upsets and shocks along the way too.
“We’ve made it really hard for ourselves and it is going to be tough but it’s still achievable and, also, something we want to achieve.
“Wakefield is a perfect time to start showing that – a big derby, coming to a new, fancy stadium in what should be a great spectacle.
“I just hope we do it justice.”
The West Yorkshire club must go there without tyro hooker Daryl Clark, though, who suffered knee ligament damage at Rovers.
“We’ve not got the scan results yet but it’ll be 10 to 12 weeks. Personally, I think he’ll be out for the year,” said coach Ian Millward.
Hull FC are also without Richard Whiting for their own derby versus Hull KR on Saturday evening.
He has not missed a game for almost 12 months, but entered an early guilty plea after being charged with a dangerous tackle against London and was given a one-match ban.
Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield, put on report for a challenge on St Helens winger Tom Makinson in Monday’s 31-18 defeat at Headingley Carnegie, has been cleared to face Bradford Bulls on Sunday after the match review panel decided to take no further action.