TWO-TRY Giants hero Marcus St Hilaire believes he is on course to recapture the best form of his career.
The 27-year-old former Moldgreen winger marked the opening game of the Super League season by scoring two tries as the Giants beat Castleford 26-22.
It crowned another solid St Hilaire display, with his performance in the pre-season success over the Tigers having also caught the eye.
And he admits his efforts have not come by chance.
"I've been trying to get back to the level of form I was in before I suffered a damaged hamstring with Leeds about four years ago," he said.
"It's been a real struggle since then.
"But now the hamstring seems as strong as ever and I'm setting my sights on recapturing my very best form.
"It's something I know I'm capable of doing, because of the way things are falling into place down here.
"Conditioner Jason Davidson has helped build up a lot of strength in my leg and sprint coach Dave Townend has sharpened up my pace.
"I'm also thoroughly enjoying the training under Jon Sharp and I've got a real appetite for the game."
As well as spending time building up his leg strength, St Hilaire has also been joining the other outside backs working on catching high `bombs'.
It would seem the sessions are already paying off, with the Huddersfield-born back having impressed in that area in both games against Castleford in 2004.
"I've been working with Hefin O'Hare, Paul Reilly and Ben Cooper in getting it right, and we feel we've all improved in that area," he revealed.
"There have been a couple of times in pre-season when I was tested out, and I managed to handle it OK.
"That felt good, and it's very rewarding when you work hard at something in training and it comes off during a game.
"But I think we all realise that there's still a lot of hard work required ahead, both individually and collectively.
"After the Castleford match we were all delighted to have picked up the win.
"But at the same time we were all a little disappointed with the way we played.
"We all knew we could perfom a lot better, but we struggled to get a grip on the contest.
"It's obviously something we've been working on at training this week, and hopefully we'll start to see it paying off as quickly as tomorrow.
"Even though we're expected to be far too strong for Pia, it'll still be a good work-out, particularly at this stage of the season.
"We certainly won't be taking them for granted.
"We watched a couple of their games on video the other day and we know they'll give it a good go.
"But tomorrow is all about us.
"A few of the boys went into the Castleford match carrying knocks, but are feeling stronger this week.
"We're looking for that to be reflected in our performance tomorrow."