'˜Awesome' Castleford Tigers hailed by coach Powell

BOSS DARYL Powell has hailed the 'fantastic' way Castleford Tigers have coped with adversity this year.

'FANTASTIC': Castleford Tigers' head coach, Daryl Powell. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Last week’s 19-18 win over Wigan Warriors, when Tigers were without 11 injured players, lifted them to third in Betfred Super League, making Powell a happy man.

“Everyone’s talked about Warrington this year and how fantastic they’re going and Wigan and how great they are and no one has really spoken about us and we’re in the mix,” said Powell.

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“We’ve beaten Wigan and Warrington with a depleted squad and it’s awesome where we’re at. It’s credit to everyone at the club, the character that has been shown.

“We’ve had a lot of expectation on us this year based on what happened last year and we’ve had to work hard to manoeuvre the team around. We’ve shown a lot of belief and confidence that anyone who comes into the team will do a job for us.”

Crucially, Tigers, last year’s league leaders, are five points clear of fifth-placed Hull.

The top four after the Super-8s will contest the semi-finals and Tigers are well on track, but Powell said they can’t afford to switch off.

“We want to stay consistent so we don’t have to call that into play,” he said of the gap the Tigers have opened up.

“We want to be in there winning week after week. I think if we can stay consistent over these next five games, then going into the split we should be in a great position.”

Tigers will fly to France tomorrow to put the finishing touches to their preparations for Saturday’s game at Catalans Dragons.

Powell said: “Generally we go on the day which I’ve never been a fan of. This time we go Thursday and have a little bit of a change in environment and I think that’s great.”

Catalans are ninth and desperate for points in their battle to avoid the middle-eights Qualifiers.

Powell warned: “They didn’t have a great start, but they are fighting back now. They are playing all right and battling and winning games.

“They have a lot of good players so they should be. They’ll be tough opposition.”