Castleford Tigers’ boss Powell delighted with great start but Leeds Rhinos Richard Agar left nursing injury woes

CASTLEFORD TIGERS have already exceeded the pundits’ expectations with their winning start to the season, coach Daryl Powell said following yesterday’s derby victory over Leeds Rhinos.

Castleford Tigers' Oliver Holmes scores his side's first try of the game against Leeds Rhinos at The Totally Wicked Stadium. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

Castleford backed up their defeat of Warrington Wolves in Super League round one with a hard-fought success against an injury-hit Leeds side.

Powell described his players’ effort, just five days after their previous game, as “awesome” and insisted: “Two from two, I don’t think anybody expected that, seeing Warrington and Leeds at the start, but we did.

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“It has been a tough start and we have done a great job with it. It was a tough game, particularly on the back of a five-day turnaround.

TOUGH GOING: Leeds Rhinos' Liam Sutcliffe runs into Castleford Tigers' Oliver Holmes and Paul McShane. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“Physically, I thought we battled through; I don’t think we were ever at our best with the ball, but it was pretty courageous to win the game.”

Leeds were without nine players, including Richie Myler who was a pre-match addition to their casualty list owing to a hamstring problem which could keep him on the sidelines for three weeks.

Their coach Richard Agar said: “It was a real odd ding-ding battle, an arm wrestle.

“I am going to credit the opposition, I thought they defended their tryline really well.

INJURY LIST: Leeds Rhinos' head coach, Richard Agar. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“Clearly, we are missing some strike out of our team, but when we look back we will see a couple of opportunities we maybe should have made more of.

“But I was proud of our effort.”

Match report: Page 6