Betts full of admiration for Castleford

Widnes boss Denis Betts admits his team face a massive task when they visit Super League leaders Castleford on Friday.

The Vikings have won just twice this season, while the high-flying Tigers have been in sparkling form for the majority of the campaign.

“They’re by and far the best team in the competition at the moment,” Betts told the club’s official website.

“The confidence is running through the place – the understanding, the consistency of performance they’re producing. If anybody gets near them this year in any competition, it’ll be because of injury or a real drop off in form.

“They have internationals in (Michael) Shenton and (Luke) Gale, Greg Eden has come back from Brisbane last year and has always had that in him to be that kind of sensational player. You’ve got Zak Hardaker who’s an international player playing at the back of it, so the left is a pretty good side.

“The other side’s not bad either – Ben Roberts or Mike McMeeken, so they’re a team in form.

“The one player that is absolutely outstanding at the moment – he’s got to be in contention for some kind of international recognition at the end of the year – is Paul McShane.

“I think his form’s been outstanding all year. I spoke to Wayne Bennett about him before the international and he’s on the radar after some really good performances.”

The Tigers cruised to a 34-0 victory when the two teams met at Widnes earlier in the season, but Betts says the Vikings will go there believing they can get something from the game.

“You can’t go over to Castleford and lie down and expect it to be okay,” added Betts. “We’ve got to go there and we’ve got to play with some determination.

“Hopefully how hard Leeds played against them might have an adverse effect, but I think if you’re at Castleford you just want to play.

“I don’t think there’s anyone putting their hand up to say ‘I’ll have a minute and I’ll play Monday’ – everyone will be saying ‘just keep picking me’.

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