Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell maintains there will be no complacency as they head to struggling Salford Red Devils – as they know just what a depleted side is capable of.
Salford chief Ian Watson says they are down to their last 17 fit players ahead of a fixture where, if they lose again, they will be consigned to the Qualifiers.
Castleford, up to third ahead of this round, are eyeing a top-two finish come the end of the Super 8s and are fully expected to win.
But Powell said: “We played at Warrington about a month ago and we were down to our last 17 – we were picking players from the Under-19s – and we beat them.
“It doesn’t matter; the teams in this comp’ can come up with outstanding performances regardless of reputation, and none of that means anything.
“We won’t be taking anything for granted this week. I don’t think there’s any place for complacency.
If we’re on, we’re alright, we generally do a good job. I’m conscious the players know they need to be on and it’s the job at hand they’re looking at.Daryl Powell
“Rugby players never turn up and put 50 per cent in; they’re pretty proud blokes, so you’ve always got to be on your game.
“If we’re on, we’re alright, we generally do a good job. I’m conscious the players know they need to be on and it’s the job at hand they’re looking at.”
Castleford have lost just once in their last six games and, after easing past champions Leeds Rhinos on Sunday, are certainly gathering pace in their bid to return to Old Trafford.
Powell is likely to switch full-back Quentin Laulu-Togage’e to stand-off – where he produced a man-of-the-match performance on his debut in that win at Warrington – after Jamie Ellis was ruled out by injury.
But he said: “We won’t change too much this week.
“It’ll just be making sure we do what we do very well so we can keep chipping away inside that top-four. When you look at the fixtures over the final rounds, all those boys in the top five are playing each other.
“We’re mindful we’ve got to be outstanding in our games. But we’ve a great chance to be in the top-four and give ourselves a real platform working towards the Super 8s and the real tough games you get that time of year.”
Meanwhile, Salford have won the race to sign highly-rated Australian stand-off Justin Hastings, 22, after his recent release by Manly Sea Eagles.
He joins initially until the end of the season and will arrive as soon as a visa is completed.