CASTLEFORD TIGERS head coach Daryl Powell has praised his opposite number at Hull KR for transforming the club’s fortunes.
The East Yorkshire club have failed to even reach the play-offs in two of the last three seasons but are currently up to fourth in Super League.
Chris Chester, who at 36 is one of the competition’s youngest head coaches, has overseen four wins from five games ahead of this evening’s trip to Wheldon Road.
Powell is the reigning Super League coach of the ear for his exploits in 2014 and he said: “You have to give their coach Chris Chester a big pat on the back for the way Hull KR have turned things around.
“They had something like 13 new players signed this season and we know how difficult it has been to get eight in.
“The expectation on them wasn’t great and sometimes that releases the pressure a fair bit, but they’ve done a good job.
“The half-backs look great. Albert Kelly is lightning and they’ve got a real controller there in Terry Campese, so they’ve been pretty good.
“I think they’ve been impressive and obviously they come here on the back of three straight wins.”
Eighth-placed Castleford are just two points adrift of tonight’s opponents, though, as they seek to add some consistency to their own season.
Powell is desperate to see his side build on Easter Monday’s excellent win at Warrington Wolves having strung together successive victories just once this term.
He could freshen things up with Steve Crossley, Liam Finn, Ashley Gibson and Oliver Holmes all back after being rested while durable prop Lee Jewitt is available for the first time since last September following hip and hernia surgery.
“It’s great to have Lee back,” said Powell, who has lost Luke Dorn (hamstring) and Matt Cook (ankle) to fresh injuries.
“He’s a really quality player. We got Frankie (Mariano) back on Monday and he was really good for us.
“It is pretty important we’ve got a couple of guys fit again, because we’ve got some injuries and it’s all hands to the pump at the moment.
“It has been a tough Easter, but the boys have been superb and we are looking forward to the next challenge now.”