Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell believes today’s game is a real indicator as to whether his side can be a consistent force this season, writes Dave Craven.
They head to Wakefield Trinity looking to make an immediate response after last Friday’s heartbreaking late loss against leaders St Helens.
That defeat, only their second of the year, denied one of the surprise packages this term top spot in Super League.
Castleford did, however, win many plaudits again and Powell is keen to see if they can overcome the disappointment to continue their obvious progress.
“We are taking steps forward every week and I thought we were excellent in the first half last Friday in pretty much every department of the game,” he said.
“That is what we are looking to carry with us into this week and we are also looking to learn some lessons from the setbacks we had within the game.
“If we do that, last week’s game could be a real defining moment in our season.
“We know we can go toe-to-toe with anybody and we have shown that by beating Wigan and pushing St Helens all the way.
“If we can learn lessons from things that are derailing us at the moment, we will be an even better team.”
That said, Wakefield will be no easy task even though their derby rivals are enduring some wretched form and have won just twice in 2014.
“I think we should be confident, the way we are playing at the moment,” said Powell. “We have been going pretty well, but our focus is one taking one game at a time.
“It is a derby, Wildcats are at home and I expect their players will be giving everything.”
Luke Dorn and Jake Webster are missing from Castleford’s side that lost to St Helens but Richard Owen, Jamie Ellis, Michael Channing and Scott Wheeldon are all set to return.