BOTH COACHES felt they had a platform to build on, but work to do after Castleford Tigers’ 42-28 win over Featherstone Rovers in their opening pre-season game.
Tigers led 30-0 at the break and 42-6 on 48 minutes, before Rovers stormed back to score 22 unanswered points.
“Obviously I was disappointed with the second half,” Tigers coach Daryl Powell admitted. “It was a complete contrast, we made a lot of errors and lost our way a bit.
“We allowed Featherstone back into the game and they were pretty good, to be fair. They put us under some pressure and I don’t think we handled the second half at all.”
Powell was much happier with the opening 40 minutes. He added: “I thought we showed some nice touches, there were some good combinations in there and I was really pleased with that. Overall I’m a bit disappointed, but we will learn a few lessons. There’s some things to pick up on and we have some hard work in front of us before we play our first game, which will have to be a significant improvement on that.”
Rovers boss Jon Sharp had totally contrasting emotions, disappointment with the first half and delight after the second.
“The response we had from the first half was magnificent,” he reflected.
“We played with a really young team and an inexperienced team, but it was a good opportunity to play against a well-coached team and some players who know what they are doing and have been successful in Super League over the last two years.
“In the first half we were like rabbits in the headlights. We gave them a bit too much respect and didn’t respect the ball enough.
“They were excellent, but we had a good chat at half-time. We needed to play a bit quicker, we changed a few things and we adapted to that really well.
“We felt the benefit with some really good skill from guys like Johnny Davies, who jumped in at nine and was very instrumental in a lot of things that helped us get forward. Jack Ormondroyd and Darrell Griffin were really good for us as well during that spell.”
Powell said Tigers came through with no significant injuries.
Rovers lost Matty Wildie to concussion and Andy Bostock went to hospital for an x-ray on a suspected broken jaw.