Danny McGuire believes Leeds must be at their best this weekend if they’re to beat Castleford for the first time this season.
The Tigers defeated the Rhinos 66-10 back in March, before recording a 29-18 success at Magic Weekend and McGuire admits the Super League leaders have had his team’s measure this term.
“It’s a great challenge for us – we had a good tussle against them at Magic Weekend and just came out on the wrong side of the result,” said McGuire.
“They’re obviously going to be hurting after losing the cup game at the weekend, so it’s all set for a fantastic game and I’m really looking forward to it.
“Cas have been a real good team now for a couple of years, but I think this year they’ve cemented themselves as the best team in the competition.
“I think we need to be at our best to get anything out of the game, but we’ve been steadily improving and our performances have been more consistent.
“At the minute Castleford have got the upper hand on us – they’ve beaten us in the last couple of games, but whatever happens this weekend there’s still a lot to play for in the competition.”
The two teams enjoyed contrasting fortunes in the Challenge Cup last weekend, with the Rhinos progressing to the last four after defeating Featherstone while the Tigers lost at Hull.
Leeds will face Hull in the semi-finals, but McGuire says the team will put thoughts of that game on the back-burner for the next few weeks.
“It’s a tough draw,” he added. “Hull played well against cas and they’re in some real good form.
“They’re a quality team, but it’s six weeks away. We’ve got to put that one to bed now and focus on what’s in front of us, but it’s great fixture and we’re looking forward to it.
“The sole focus is on this weekend and then we’ll revisit it when it comes around in six weeks time.”