Catalans v Castleford: Powell is aiming to produce ‘real crack’ at Dragons

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CASTLEFORD Tigers head coach Daryl Powell says there will be no excuses from his squad despite getting the Easter fixture nobody wants.

They play Catalans Dragons in Perpignan this afternoon as the second part of their holiday schedule.

Ordinarily, it is the game clubs dread given the hectic workload and logistical issues caused by travelling over the Easter break.

However, Powell, whose side beat Leeds Rhinos on Thursday, insisted: “I’ve never complained about Easter. It’s just what it is.

“I’ve played in these games myself and you recognise it’s a tough time.

“When you’ve got injuries it’s a little bit harder, but you’ve just got to get on with it.

“It’s a tough game, but Catalans played a day after us so there is a little bit of an advantage there if you can get one over Easter.

“We came over on Saturday, but they were at Salford on Friday so they’ve got to travel the same as us and it evens itself out a little bit.

“Obviously they’re at home so it’s a little bit easier for them, but I think it’s a good time for us.

“We’ll have a real crack at them; they’re a big old set of people at Catalans so we need to be physically and mentally very strong.”

Normally, clubs look to freshen their squads on Easter Monday but Powell does not really have that luxury.

Second-row Matt Cook completes his two-match ban today and captain Michael Shenton is still injured.

Castleford are still without Benny Roberts and Lee Jewitt, who drop out of their 19-man squad, so teenager Conor Fitzsimmons, a Cumbrian forward, could make his debut and youngster Tom Holmes is also added to the travelling party.

“There’s not much to roll round when you’ve just 18 or 19 fit players,” admitted Powell.

“We’ve just got to keep working hard. Hopefully, we’ll start to get some people back in the next couple of weeks, it looks a little bit more positive.

“I’ve said this for the last couple of weeks, it’s a tough sport. A lot of the injuries we’ve got are contact injuries and unless you go out with a load of padding on you are not going to get past that, it’s the nature of the sport.”

Catalans are without the suspended Krisnan Inu while Justin Horo and Olivier Elima are both injured.