More than a rehearsal

Runcorn and Widnes World: Kevin Brown pulled the strings again in Saturday’s win at London. 	Picture: Dave Gillespie. Kevin Brown pulled the strings again in Saturday’s win at London. Picture: Dave Gillespie.

THERE will be no Challenge Cup mind games being played by Vikings in Thursday’s Super League clash against Castleford.

Instead Denis Betts will have his team primed to take out the two points and try to continue building confidence ahead of the semi-final showdown in August.

Having ended their four-game winless streak down in London, Vikings will look to kick on in front of their home supporters in tomorrow’s televised clash.

Betts said: “The semi has no bearing whatsoever on this one.

“We have to go out and win, our home form is really important to us.

“The semi will take care of itself, emotionally and physically, we will get to that stage.

“If we hold anything back then your confidence is down and you can’t expect to raise your game for one 80 minute stint.

“Overall you have to have form going into the semi, and some confidence in what you do as a group, “That is where we need to get to as a group, by getting some form, especially at home.”

“I know as a team we are not happy with the things we have done here the last two or three games on our home pitch so we need to show our home supporters something too.

“I am confident that we can put in a good performance on Thursday.”

Vikings emerged from Saturday’s win at Barnet with no knocks and bumps and are on the whole looking healthy with only long term casualty Eamon O’Carroll still on the sidelines.

Thursday’s clash will be a good marker for Vikings against a Cas side that has performed well this season.

Betts applauded what opposite number Daryl Powell has achieved at the Tigers.

“They are a good solid rugby league side, with a lot of quality and playing with confidence.

“They are a big team that likes to pass.

“They know what they want from their front rowers, they offload and pass the ball.

“On the back of that Daryl Clark has been outstanding all year, as has Luke Dorn.

“I am looking forward to it. It is a really good challenge that shows us where we stand as well.

“It is on TV and gives everyone the chance to look at us again and that is the challenge for this group.

“Everybody is watching and with the expectation externally being high and we have to translate that to what our own aspirations are,” Betts said.

Thursday’s game kicks off at 8pm.

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