Winger Greg Minikin believes there is more than one reason for Castleford Tigers to try to end their Super 8s season in style at St Helens tonight.
The West Yorkshire club head west looking for a sixth successive win in readiness for next Friday’s Super League semi-final at Wigan Warriors.
However, they have not prospered at Saints for more than 25 years and their opponents have recently claimed the League Leaders’ Shield.
Furthermore, Justin Holbrook’s side knocked them out of the Challenge Cup in May when they also beat them 40-18 at Wheldon Road in the league.
However, it was the 46-6 defeat at Saints’ hands on the opening day of this season that still hurts most.
“It would be massive if we could go there and get that win,” admitted Minikin.
We do owe Saints one from what they did to us at the start of the year. They embarrassed us that night. So, we want to go there, play well and build on into that semi-final and get a victory.Greg Minikin
“We’ve mentioned it a few times; it’s about building momentum into that semi-final.
“But we do owe Saints one from what they did to us at the start of the year.
“They embarrassed us that night. So, we want to go there, play well and build on into that semi-final and get a victory.”
Minikin, 23, has recently made his comeback from ankle surgery, just in time for their push for back-to-back Grand Finals, and scored in last week’s win over Wakefield.
“I was really happy to get back on the field,” he added. “I got 12 minutes two weeks ago (against Huddersfield) and then the full 80 last week under my belt. It was good to get back out there and it’s always nice to get a try.”
All the more so given the competition currently in Castleford’s ranks.
“It’s tough isn’t it?” he added.
“Sticks (James Clare) has been playing really well and Greg (Eden) has been going great on the other wing as well.
“It’s just about getting everyone ready to play in that semi final. I’m not sure what he (coach Daryl Powell) is going to do team-wise for that and I’ve just gotta try and play the best I can to try and get that shirt.”
Having helped Castleford to the League Leaders’ Shield last season, Minikin added: “Saints have done what we did last year.
“They’ve been relatively injury-free and had a good run whereas we’ve had quite a lot of injuries, people playing out of position and young lads having to step in.
“So, learning-wise this year has been massive for us but we’ve come on a lot.”
Meanwhile, Minikin is hoping to do enough to gain selection for England Knights’ tour of Papua New Guinea next month.
“It’s always nice to be picked for that sort of thing,” he said, having been selected in the original squad in March.
“I’m just focusing on rugby now and trying to play well. Hopefully, I will get picked off that.”
Powell has rested a number of key players including Eden, Mike McMeeken and Junior Moors while 17-year-old back-row Lewis Peachey could debut.