Rochdale Hornets coach John Stankevitch says his side will go all out to ask questions of the Castleford Tigers defence when the two sides meet in a Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round tie at Spotland on Sunday (3.00pm).
After a bright start in Engage Super League, Castleford’s form has dipped in recent weeks and Stankevitch insists the Tigers won’t intimidate any of his charges.
“Our lads won’t need any extra motivation to go out and do their best,” said Stankevitch. “Cas are flying in the league and they’ve had a great start to the season and we know it will be a very tough game.
“We can either go into the game fearful about what they can do to us or we go out there trying to stick to our game plan and ignore what happens on the pitch, but I think it will probably a little bit of both.
“We need to get the ball down and ask some questions of their defence every time we get the ball. Super League sides train every day and come up against all sorts of opposition so they’ll have seen every type of attack out there but we need to upset them and try to play a little off-the-cuff rugby and cause them problems wherever possible.
“I’ve got a hungry bunch of players here who play to their max every week and I know there will be no difference against the Tigers.”
While Stankevitch knows Castleford will be odds-on favourites to progress to the next round, he’ll be telling his troops that anything is possible and he’ll be drawing from personal experience to try and inspire his side to what would be a massive upset.
“You never know what will happen in Cup rugby,” said Stankevitch. “There have been some big shocks in the past and in every sport, there are always great cup run stories so there’s no reason why we can’t be one of those this season.
“I played with St Helens against Brisbane in the World Club Challenge in a game we were expected to lose heavily. No one gave us a hope and we managed to steal a 20-18 win in what was a massive upset, so I’ll be using my experiences to help give the lads the belief they’ll need.
“I have a great team dynamic here at Hornets. We might not have all the marquee names but this sides works hard for each other and they work well on the pitch, we struggled with injuries early in the season but we’re ready for the challenge to come.”
Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round contest between Rochdale Hornets and Castleford Tigers at the Spotland Stadium are prices at £12 adult, £8 concessions and £5 children and can be purchased via 01706 648004. Castleford season ticket holders are eligible for free entry.