Captain’s Column: Magic Weekend derby against Castleford Tigers gives us perfect chance to bounce back from Hull KR defeat

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It was great to welcome a new team-mate to the club this week in Taulima Tautai.

He landed in the country on Wednesday morning and had his first training session with us. He’s a big guy and he’s fit straight in with the rest of the squad.

He already knew a few players from playing in the NRL, such as Tim Smith, Dean Collis and Paul Aiton. He was part of the Parramatta squad with Justin Poore last season too so that’s helped him settle in.

He looks like a great player and hopefully he will give the whole squad a boost going into this weekend’s game and beyond that too.

We brought in Lee Smith and Paul Sykes midway through last season and they had a good impact on us as a team, so hopefully Taulima can do the same for us.

He adds some competition for places too which is always good in a squad and will keep people on their toes.

He’s trained well this week even though he’s only just arrived and he’s been brought in to play straight away so he could start on Saturday against Castleford.

The match provides us with the perfect chance to bounce back from the disappointment of losing at Hull KR last weekend and we’ve got to take it.

We were really disappointing against KR and we didn’t do ourselves justice. Even when we were ahead in the first half we weren’t really playing well so we need to put that right this weekend.

Whoever we were playing this weekend we’d need a big improvement but it just makes it that bit more important because we’re playing Castleford at Magic Weekend.

To produce a good performance against our derby rivals at a stadium like the Etihad in front of a big crowd would be fantastic and just what we need going forward.

They’re going to be tricky opponents and it’ll be a lot different to when we played them earlier this season and beat them at their place.

They’ve got a new coach and I know from first-hand experience what a boost that can give to a team so they’ll be dangerous opponents for us to face.

The Magic Weekend is a great concept for the fans and for the game, hopefully it will help to attract some neutral supporters to the game.

But from our point of view we just try and treat it like any other away game in the way that we prepare for it.

It’s a bit of a different atmosphere on the day depending on which teams are playing before and after, but as players we tend to blank out what’s going on in the stands and just focus on the game.

We tend to just go over for our game and come back but I know Rich [Agar] is pretty open if players want to stay for other matches. Some like to get there early and settle their nerves by watching the game before, I know that can help.

We’re all really looking forward to it and hopefully we can come back with the win that we want.

- Danny.