St Helens v Castleford Tigers: Significant improvement needed, admits Andy Last

Castleford Tigers must improve significantly to avoid a backlash against a wounded St Helens, according to assistant coach Andy Last.

Saints’ pride was dented by a 44-12 hammering at the hands of Salford Red Devils, only a fourth Super League loss of the season for the defending champions.

Castleford, meanwhile, are fresh from a humbling 32-6 home defeat by relegation-threatened rivals Wakefield Trinity.

The Tigers remain fifth despite the setback but Last has warned they cannot afford a repeat of last week’s sluggish display at the Totally Wicked Stadium tomorrow.

Castleford Tigers fail to get to grips with David Fifita during last week's derby. (Picture: SWPix.com)

“Going to St Helens and playing them at their place is probably the biggest challenge in Super League, especially after the performance they had against Salford,” said Last.

“We’re expecting them to react like the champion team that they are. We need to make sure we improve significantly.

“For whatever reason, we weren’t quite at it in that derby game against Wakefield and didn’t deal with the pressure they put us under.

“We know if we don’t deal with that pressure again it could be a really long afternoon for us because St Helens are the masters at building pressure.”

Andy Last is in his first season at Castleford Tigers. (Picture: SWPix.com)

Castleford have been forced into changes after losing Jake Mamo, George Lawler and Daniel Smith from the team that lost to Wakefield.

Gareth O’Brien and Alex Mellor both return, however, while Jordan Turner is set to hand the Tigers a timely boost in the next week or two as they aim to secure a play-off spot.

“This is his second week back in training and we’re starting to build up his contact, which is great for him and great for us,” said Last on the utility back, who has been sidelined since April with a shoulder injury.

“He’s an experienced player and someone we’ve missed. He has got a strong voice and he’s a strike weapon on the edge.”