Castleford Tigers forward George Griffin believes Saturday’s successful clash with Hull KR will depend on who wants more.
The play-off rivals are only 2.38% apart in the table, with the Tigers holding a slight advantage heading into the game at Craven Park.
But Castleford knows that a loss in east Hull would put them out of the top six heading into the final round.
Having faced the Rovers three times already this year, Daryl Powell’s men know all about the threats they possess.
“They’re a really good team, to be honest,” Griffin said at a press conference Wednesday.
“They play a lot out of the blue with a lot of shocks. Their full-backs are really good and they have strong people in it, so we’ll have to deal with them – they’re a big step forward for them.
“We need to contain their offloads and contain their progress. Their hookers (Matt) Parcell and (Jez) Litten are very quick in the ruck of a fast play.
“We’ll have to control the ruck. It will all come down to defense and who wants more.
Griffin, who made his Super League debut for the Robins in 2012, made no attempt to downplay the enormity of the game.
He considers it a play-off for the play-offs.
“It’s absolutely huge,” Griffin said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so tight at the end of the season.
“We’re in it by the minute and it’s up to us to lose. There are also good teams at home and around us. Everyone is fighting for this sixth and even fifth place.
“We have to win games. It’s already the football play-offs. I can’t stress how important this is, but I try to stay relaxed about it at the same time. It’s still rugby league at the end of the day.
The last time the teams met at Craven Park it was a classic, with Gareth O’Brien reversing a drop goal in the 99th minute to secure a 33-32 Challenge Cup victory for the Tigers.
Griffin hopes to avoid a repeat of that tension but anticipates another fierce battle.
“I hope not because my heart was in my mouth during those 10 minutes,” said the 29-year-old.
“I hope we see the game a little earlier than that, but it’s a tough team to face, especially at home.
“I expect a tough game for the full 80 minutes.”