Prop Andy Raleigh says the Wildcats have some of their own points to prove when they open Magic Weekend against Castleford Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
The opening match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester (kick-off: 1pm) sees the Wildcats go in on the back of a disappointing final quarter against Warrington Wolves and for the Tigers they are looking to respond after a drubbing from Hull KR.
Castleford’s players apologised to their supporters at the start of the week for that below-par performance and much of the talk in the media in the week has been about how the Tigers will be geared up for a backlash.
But Raleigh says the Wildcats near neighbours are not the only ones running out at the home of the Premier League Champions looking to right a few wrongs.
“We’re looking forward to it on a few fronts,” commented Raleigh.
“It’s always good to get back out there and hopefully get a win, especially against a team that put one over on us earlier in the season.
“But also being first up at Magic weekend is great. I’m looking forward to playing on the pitch and it’s exciting.
“They’ve probably had a rocket up them this week. It’s usually a bit dangerous when you play a side that have been hammered the week before because they’re looking for a reaction.
“We’re aware of that and we also feel that this is a game we have to win.”
It is the first meeting between the clubs since Good Friday where Ian Millward’s side put in a near faultless display in claiming bragging rights over the men in red, white and blue.
On that night it was the Tigers forwards who had the upper hand over their opposite numbers, setting the platform for the likes of Rangi Chase to exploit.
Chase returns from a suspension on Saturday with Danny Orr also coming back from injury, with Raleigh wary of the threat the duo possess but adamant that it is the up to the Wildcats to put in a more complete performance to get the win.
“Rich has made it clear that everybody needs to perform but it always starts at the forwards so we’ll be looking to do the job and have a good game.
“That’s their main ball players coming back so obviously it’ll be good for them putting their main men back in the team.
“But we know whoever they put out we’re going to have to play well across the park from 1-17.
“The thing is to be consistent and put in an eighty minute performance. If we can do it for eighty minutes or somewhere close to that then we’ll come out with a good result.
“It has been the story of our season that we have put together halves of games and that’s not usually enough.
“We need to make sure we put two full halves of good rugby together and that’s the aim.”
Raleigh is a fan of the Magic Weekend concept and with the week’s glorious sunshine set to continue into the weekend, a bumper crowd is expected across the two days.
The former Huddersfield Giant has experience of playing in the event for his former club, but says the change of venue makes little difference to him.
“They’re always good weekends and it’s like a festival. With the weather as well I think it’s going to be a special one.
“It’s more like a normal away game with not staying in a hotel the night before.
“It doesn’t really bother me though. I don’t mind staying away if you’re playing in Cardiff or Edinburgh so it’s like an away game but in a very special venue and I’m looking forward to it.”
Supporters will be able to purchase tickets at the Etihad on Saturday with Wakefield and Castleford (1pm), Warrington vs. Widnes (4pm) and the Hull derby (7pm) all set to make the first day of Magic Weekend 2012 one to remember.
- Spectators can drink alcohol whilst watching games. This must be bought from the kiosks within the Eithad Stadium.
- Turnstiles open at 11.30 on Saturday – Drinks available from that time.
- On entry into the stadium (Joe Mercer Way) a licensed bar that holds 1,000 fans at City Square will offer drinks and entertainment from 11am. This will act as the ‘fanzone’ but will only allow matchday ticket holders entry.
- Fans arriving on coaches will be parked in areas 1 + 2. This will provide easy access to the ‘fanzone’.
- NO DRINKS are allowed to be opened anywhere around the stadium. Only inside the stadium or City Square Bar are permitted licensed points. Any fan not cooperating will be removed from the grounds and subsequently banned from the event.
- NO SMOKING inside the stadium.
- Four exit and re-entry points in operation, giving the spectators freedom to roam around the area.
- ONLY Level 1+2 open for the Magic Weekend. Level 3 Top Tier will not be in use.
- Tickets can be purchased on the day but NO CASH on turnstiles.
- Car Parking around the Eithad Stadium is restricted – Residence Parking Scheme is in operation with low level signs in place so spectators will be fined if parked in these areas. Only use MCFC car parks or private car parks around the area.
- Flags are allowed up to 3m x 3m without the poles.
- Buggies and prams not allowed but common sense will be enforced in certain circumstances.
- Unreserved seating in operation within the Eithad Stadium
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