Confidence returning at right time for Castleford Tigers' Greg Eden

PROLIFIC Castleford Tigers winger Greg Eden admits he lost confidence during an injury-plagued regular Super League campaign.

Castleford Tiger's Greg Eden is tackled by Salford Red Devils' Junior Sa'u in their recent Super League clash. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

It seems hard to believe given the season before he hardly put a foot wrong.

Back then, Eden finished with 41 tries, was the competition’s top scorer, earned a place in the Dream Team and a call-up to the England elite performance squad as Castleford won a maiden League Leaders’ Shield and reached the Grand Final.

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However, he has been frustrated this time around by a series of injuries playing just seven games and crossing only three times before rounding off with a hat-trick in Sunday’s 52-24 win at Widnes Vikings.

“It was just good to get some momentum really going into the Super 8s,” said Eden, as Tigers confirmed third place.

“I think we needed that and I needed that for my own form really just to get a bit of confidence back.

“Because I’ve been out for that long, my timing has been a little bit off.

“I’ve come back in, played one match, had eight out, one in again and then another six out so it hasn’t helped.

“I just needed to get some consistency really but I’ve played three games on the bounce now so hopefully I can roll it into the Eights and pick up from where I left off at Widnes.”

Castleford start with a trip to Wigan, who they will replace in second spot if they win.

The aim is to finish in the top-two and secure a home semi-final in order to try and reach Old Trafford and atone for last year’s Grand Final loss to Leeds Rhinos.

Former Huddersfield Giants and Hull KR star Eden, who joined from Brisbane Broncos at the end of 2016, said: “We can still get second if we put our minds to it. I think we just need to work on our defence.

“Our attack will come as we get our consistency – we just need to work on letting those points in.”

Castleford’s title hopes have been boosted by the arrival of Samoa full-back Peter Mata’utia, the former St George-Illawarra star who joined following Leigh Centurions’ financial collapse.

He debuted at centre at Widnes and Eden conceded: “He looked quality. It was only his first week but he looked strong, fast and has a bit about him.”