The Huddersfield Giants coach Nathan Brown is taking little notice of Castleford's recent results ahead of today's derby meeting in the Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-finals. The Tigers go into their biggest game of the season on the back of three consecutive defeats in the engage Super League but were competitive in each fixture, a point readily acknowledged by Brown.
"Castleford are a side that play some good footie," he said. "They've gone down to some close games in the last few weeks but they haven't been beaten by much against some good opposition. It will be a tough game." The last quarter-final could be the closest as two of the game's unfashionable sides look to break into the big time. Brown's men emerged from a minor mid-season slump to thrash Wakefield 54-6 last Sunday and the coach was delighted with their timely return to form.
"It was definitely our best performance for some time," he said. "Obviously this is a big game - win it and then you're one game away from Wembley. "There are eight sides dreaming of it and half a dozen probably think they've a realistic chance." The Castleford coach Terry Matterson believes his side are genuine contenders and is hoping the luck of the draw will enable them to end their 17-year wait for another trip to Wembley.
The Tigers are playing Super League opposition for the first time after overcoming Keighley and Halifax in earlier rounds, the latter in sudden-death extra time, to give Matterson his best run in the competition in his four seasons with the club. Matterson was impressed with Huddersfield's eight-try rout against Wakefield but remained convinced about his own team's abilities. "We're pretty confident. Although we've lost three in a row, we're not far away. It's going to come down to whoever does the little things right."