St Helens Women are preparing for one of their biggest tests of the season when they take on the league leaders, Castleford Tigers, this Sunday afternoon.
Clash of the titans, rumble in the jungle, call it what you want but one thing’s for sure, the upcoming clash between Castleford and Saints features two of the best teams in the country.
St Helens head coach Derek Hardman is looking forward to the match saying: “It’s going to be a great occasion going to Castleford. They’re obviously in form and it will be a massive challenge.
“This is a game between two very talented teams who play the same brand of rugby - I think it will come down to whoever can handle the pressure.”
Both clubs have made an unbeaten start to the season winning all three of their opening games. St Helens impressed in the opening round when they brought the defending champions Wigan back down to earth with a slender 6-4 victory.
Further wins over Bradford Bulls and Featherstone Rovers saw St Helens score a combined number of 78 points while conceding just 16.
Hardman acknowledges the terrific start to the campaign but believes there is still room for improvement.
He said: “It’s only the start and we’ve got a lot of improvement in us. I’m certainly pleased with how this season has begun. Three from three, you can’t ask for more than that.
“I’ll be disappointed if we don’t finish in the top four and challenge for silverware. But this is only the start and we have a long way to go.”
Sunday’s game will feature some of the best players in the country with 16 England internationals set to take part.
St Helens full-back, Jodie Cunningham, knows that comparisons will no doubt be made between the England players.
She said: “When you’re competing against fellow internationals there’s always an element of being compared. Equally, if you can perform in these big games, you are setting your mark on those international games later down the line.
“Individually everyone will want to put a big mark on this game to highlight themselves and their own skill but, for us the most important thing to know is that if we work as a team we can get a good result.”
The match kicks off at 1pm at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle and will be streamed on the RFL’s OurLeague App as well as on Twitch.