ALTHOUGH we’ve picked up three Super League points from the past four to strengthen our place in the play-offs, we’re only too well aware there are still a number of key areas that need to be patched up.
And trying to fix our starts has obviously been one of the subjects up for debate.
Giving Hull an 18-point start and then Hull KR a 12-point start in those last two matches has hardly been part of the script, and we know it’s something we need to avoid in the future if we want to keep progressing.
To be honest, it’s hard to put your finger exactly on why this is the case, but I can assure you we are looking to rectify the situation ASAP.
It’s sometimes almost impossible to halt the progress of a team when they’ve got so much momentum behind them and, fortunately, we have managed to find a way to stem the tide over the past fortnight.
But we know we can’t afford to find ourselves in a similar situation again on Sunday at Castleford.
The Tigers have been showing some great form over the past few weeks, and I know how much their confidence will be lifted if they get off to a great start against us.
They’ve got some quality players in their side and they could prove very difficult to stop if they get on a roll.
On top of that, I know how much the Cas fans will get behind their team if things are going well for their side.
I have to admit I love the atmosphere at grounds like Castleford, because you just don’t get anything like that back in Australia.
The home supporters do give you a fair bit of flak, particularly if you’re standing behind the posts at the popular end of the ground, but I think that adds to the occasion – as long as it’s all within reason, of course.
But on Sunday I would still prefer deathly silence, because if that’s the case it’ll be a sign that we’re doing something right.
It really would be one of those times when you could definitely come out with the phrase ‘silence is golden’.
ONE week on and my successful last-second touchline penalty which helped us draw with Hull KR is still a talking point.
I’m obviously delighted about that. If I’d have missed the kick and we’d lost the game, then I’m sure it wouldn’t have been such a hot topic of conversation.
I’ve been interviewed a number of times this week about the kick and how I felt about it, and because of the outcome I’ve been only too happy to oblige.
I do feel it’s probably one of the most important penalties I’ve landed as it’s helped keep us in a strong position in the play-off race. For a start, it enabled us to remain two points ahead of Hull KR, who are one place behind us in seventh.
And I have to admit I always felt confident I’d hit the target.
I appreciate that may appear a bit big headed.
But goalkicking is a very mental discipline and when you line up to take a kick at goal you always have to think you’re going to get it.
If you start worrying about the possibility of hitting it right or left, that’s when you’re in trouble. Luckily, I managed to focus 100% on the ball going through the posts and fortunately, that’s exactly what happened.