Rankin targeting fourth place
CASTLEFORD TIGERS HALF-BACK JORDAN RANKIN WILL BE HOPING TO GET ONE OVER ON FORMER TEAM-MATES FOR THE SECOND TIME IN SEVEN DAYS WHEN HULL FC VISIT THE MEND-A-HOSE JUNGLE ON THURSDAY.
Rankin, who is on loan from Huddersfield, helped the Tigers to a crucial victory over the Giants last Friday and knows another two points against his other previous English club will enable them to leapfrog the Black and Whites into fourth place in Betfred Super League.
“It’s massive,” said Rankin. “They’re in some decent form and they’re a team you’ve got to be wary of because they’ve got so many individuals that can do you damage.
“If you let them get a roll on they will continue to do that for the full 80 minutes and they’ve got players that can put you to the sword like Marc Sneyd and Albert Kelly.
“They’re a team close to us in the table so to get the two points off them would be a massive step towards us securing a top-five place come the end of the season.”
Rankin, a 27-year-old Australian who began his Super League career with Hull in 2014, has fond memories of the two seasons he spent at the KCOM Stadium.
“I loved it there,” he said. “It was an opportunity to come over from Australia and they welcomed me with open arms.
“It was a club I really enjoyed playing at. I bought into the culture and into what the club was about.
“(Coach Lee Radford) Radders is tough but he’s fair as well. He just wants the best for his players and the best for the club.
“He’s a Hull lad and he’s passionate about the club, which is what you want in a head coach. I think he’s done a pretty good job there with the playing group he’s got.”
Castleford got back to winning ways against Huddersfield by the narrowest of margins, full-back Peter Mata’utia landing a drop goal in the second period of extra time in one of five matches to be determined by golden point so far in 2019.
Hull have won two of those matches, courtesy of the accurate boot of Sneyd, and Rankin admits they need to be especially wary of the ace marksman.
“It’s something Hull are really good at,” Rankin said. “Marc Sneyd is pretty good at finding an opportunity when his team are six or 12 points up to take a shot before it gets to golden point or it becomes a field-goal shoot-out.
“It’s a massive part of the game. The more often you can hit them the first time around, the better opportunity to win games.
“Golden point is a pretty interesting one so far this year. We’ve lost one and won one. It’s exciting, for the fans more than anyone.”